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Inter oust Barcelona

Published:Thursday | April 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Ten-man Inter Milan lost 1-0 at Barcelona yesterday, but still reached their first Champions League final in 38 years by beating the defending champions 3-2 on aggregate.

The Italian champions braved continuous pressure from the slick-passing Catalans to line up a final against Bayern Munich on May 22 in Madrid, after winning the first leg 3-1.

Defender Gerard Pique scored in the 84th minute after Inter had mostly frustrated Barcelona's attack.

Inter were reduced to 10 men from the 28th minute when Thiago Motta picked up a second yellow card after tangling with Sergio Busquets. But Inter held on in front of a crowd of nearly 100,000 at the Camp Nou to give themselves a chance of a third title - and first since 1965.

"It's an incredible joy. The players left blood out there and the fans were marvellous," Inter coach Jose Mourinho said. "It's the greatest loss of my life. This team deserved to draw 0-0. It was an extraordinary game.

"It's tough with 11 players against Barcelona - with 10 it's a historic feat."

Barcelona took the lead on the night just moments after substitute Bojan Krkic headed a clear chance wide. Krkic found the back of the net in injury time but his strike was ruled out for a handball by Yaya Toure in the build-up.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was given little room to roam, but the Argentina winger had a chance in the closing stages after having delivered a perfect cross for Krkic in the 82nd minute.