Spalletti delighted with reaction to Malcom's goal

Barcelona will not risk Messi against Inter assures Valverde

Barcelona will not risk Messi against Inter assures Valverde

Lionel Messi was forced to watch from the sidelines as Barcelona drew 1-1 with Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Messi injured his arm in a Spanish league match against Sevilla on October 20 and missed the 2-0 victory over Inter in the last round, but had been training with the team in recent days.

He was initially ruled out for three weeks but returned to training after 10 days and was said to be in contention to play against Italians.

However, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor was not on Ernesto Valverde's 18-man squad when it was released prior to the match.

"The decision was taken to set up an arbitration committee to decide how much should be paid, not if the player could go to Inter, it was clear that was going to happen". Inter Milan have lost to Barcelona and the Spanish giants are with a 100% win record in the group.

"We just switched off a bit in the final moments", said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

Given their three point lead and tiebreaker advantage over Inter, the draw tonight should virtually seal top spot of Group B for Barcelona.

"The latest results reinforce that and this will be a good opportunity to see if we really can play on a par with Barcelona, who represent the highest level of difficulty in football".

The Slovenia global made his best save just before the hour mark when he charged out to block Ivan Rakitic's shot as the Croatian bore down on goal.

Ousmane Dembele takes Messi's place upfront alongside the in-form Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, ahead of Rafinha.

"I think it's better if he's there". After six games without a goal, he has now hit six in his last four.

"Barcelona have always had issues with Brazilian players: Neymar, Romario, Ronaldinho and me", he said.

Lionel Messi trained with Barcelona on Monday, but was left out of the match-day squad for the clash against Inter Milan. Barcelona have not lost in the last eight matches in all competitions.

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