Ten-men Inter Milan put on a textbook example of how to defend in Barcelona and knocked the defending champions out and sent Inter to their first Champions League Final since 1972.
Once again Jose Mourinho showed why he is the “Special One. His tactics proved decisive as Inter not only overcame the loss of Goran Pandev minutes before kick-off, but also the dismissal of former Barcelona midfielder Thiago Motta inside the first half-hour.
Inter set up in very defensive formation and dared Barcelona to break them down. They often had nine white shirts behind the ball in the opening twenty minutes and Barca could not find a way past the Italian champions.
Inter’s job became much harder in the 28th minute when Motta was giving a straight red card for hitting Sergio Busquets in the face with his outstretched hand. It was a terrible decision.
The red card in the Bayern game yesterday was also a bad decision, and if you go back to the Chelsea v Barcelona semi-final last year, that is now three bad referring performances in a row, in what are UEFA’s biggest games.
Even with 10 men, Barca only really threatened Inter goal once in the first half, and then which Julio Cesar pulled off a great finger-tip save to deny Lionel Messi
In the second half it was more of the same. Inter ceded possession to Barcelona and dared the Spanish team to get by them. Barca were limited to long-range efforts that did not trouble the Inter goalkeeper, before Messi curved in a great cross which Bojan, unmarked, headed wide from eight yards out.
Barca did get a goal when Xavi slipped a trademark pass to Pique, he turned substitute Ivan Cordoba and swept into the open net, but it was too little too late holders.
Inter Milan will now play Bayern Munch on 22 May in Madrid in the Champions League Final.