Inter Milan knocks out Barcelona

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Since its inception in 1991-92, no team has successfully defended the UEFA Champions League, and Inter Milan made sure that record will continue as it eliminated Barcelona in Wednesday's semifinals. Despite playing the last 62 minutes with a man advantage, Barcelona only managed a 1-0 victory and fell to Inter, 3-2, on aggregate. The result prompted Inter coach Jose Mourinho to say, "It's the greatest loss of my life."

Inter, which will play Bayern Munich May 22 in the final, lost Brazilian Thiago Motta went he was sent off after putting a hand to the face of Barca's Sergio Busquets in a midfield challenge.

The red card had the classic effect of strengthening the short-handed team as Inter tightened after Thiago Motto's departure and gave Barca and its star, Lionel Messi, few openings.

The closest Messi came to scoring was in the first half when Inter keeper Julio Cesar made a brilliant save to tip Messi's shot headed to the far post wide.

The lone goal came in the 84th minute when Gerard Pique scored. It was a rare occasion when a Barca was free with the ball at his feet in the penalty area.

Most of Barca's shots were from distance and either went wide or were saved by Julio Cesar.

"It's an incredible joy. The players left blood out there and the fans were marvelous," 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."

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