Eurozone: Barcelona fire up fans ahead of showdown with Mourinho

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Barcelona fans have been urged to fill the Nou Camp an hour before kick-off on Wednesday night as their team attempt to overturn Internazionale's 3-1 first leg Champions League semi-final lead.

No sooner had the final whistle been blown in Saturday's 3-1 win over Xerez than the players returned to the centre-circle wearing T-shirts carrying the message "On Wednesday we will give everything" and supporters were asked to make the difference in the side's push for a place in the final in Madrid by creating an intimidating atmosphere for the visit of Jose Mourinho's side.

Pep Guardiola rested six certain starters in the victory over La Liga's bottom club and Inter followed suit with Mourinho resting seven of his first-teamers in their 3-1 win over Atalanta. Wesley Sneijder did play and picked up a knock which is not expected to rule him out of the European tie.

"We played with our minds on the Inter game,'' admitted Guardiola after Barcelona's unconvincing victory that keeps them one point ahead of Real Madrid who beat Zaragoza 2-1 thanks to goals from Raul and Kaka.

The Barça coach also lamented how his side's 87-point haul had not been enough to have already won the league. "Manuel Pellegrini is probably thinking the same thing,'' he said.

Kaka's goal for Madrid marked his return to the team six weeks after he was taken off in Real Madrid's Champions League exit against Lyons. He has had to suffer ironic headlines about his "resurrection" and he said after the game: "There has been a lot of criticism but I will do my talking on the pitch. I am still not back to my best but it will come and this was a good way to return to the side.''

Raul's goal on the ground where he made his debut was his 228th goal for the club taking him past Alfredo Di Stefano in the list of all time league scorers. The club captain is now third behind Hugo Sanchez and Telmo Zarra.

Bayern Munich could only pick up a point against Borussia Moenchengladbach ahead of their semi-final second leg against Lyons. They are now level on points with Schalke 04 – who beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 – in the Bundesliga but with a better goal difference.