Inter Milan secured their place in the Champions League knockout stage and sent Barcelona into the Europa League with victory against Viktoria Plzen.
Barcelona’s fate was already sealed before Xavi’s side lost 3-0 to Group C winners Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp.
Substitute Romelu Lukaku marked his return from injury with a late goal as Inter comfortably secured the win that sent them to the last 16.
Edin Dzeko scored twice after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s opener in the 4-0 win.
It means Barcelona are guaranteed to finish third and compete in Europe’s second-tier competition for the second successive season.
The Spanish giants were unable to improve the mood among the home support in their final home group game as first-half goals from Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put Bayern on course to maintain their perfect record in this season’s Champions League.
Barcelona thought they had been given a lifeline before half-time but referee Anthony Taylor overturned his initial penalty decision after being sent to review Matthijs de Ligt’s challenge on former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski on the pitchside monitor.
Serge Gnabry’s curled finish was ruled out for offside after the restart, but the German registered three assists on the night as substitute Benjamin Pavard added to Barcelona’s misery in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Although many home supporters began leaving long before the final whistle, a group of fans did stay behind and applauded as their players returned to the field at the end of a dismal night for the club.
Lukaku scores on return as Inter progress
Having kept their fate in their own hands with a 3-3 draw at Barcelona a fortnight ago, Simone Inzaghi’s Inter completed the job with a game to spare as they made it five wins in six games in all competitions.
With Inzaghi serving a touchline ban, Federico Dimarco was denied at close range by Plzen goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek as Inter dominated from the start at the San Siro.
Midfielder Mkhitaryan headed in Alessandro Bastoni’s cross from the left as Inter broke the deadlock with their 10th attempt after 35 minutes.
Dzeko slotted in from Dimarco’s pass to double the lead over the Czech champions before the interval.
Mkhitaryan struck the post 10 minutes into the second half, but Dzeko’s second from a Lautaro Martinez assist put the result beyond doubt.
Lukaku added a fourth within four minutes of coming off the bench in his first appearance since August because of a hamstring injury.
‘Champions League exit a blow to Barca’s ego’
Analysis by La Liga TV’s Semra Hunter, speaking to BBC World Service
It doesn’t look good. It is certainly a bruise to Barcelona’s ego and their pride as a club. There has been so much pressure on them because of the financial pressure to deliver on the pitch and generate as much money as possible.
It will be a really big blow for them not to get out of the group stage because they will have budgeted for making the quarter-finals. They will have to come up with other solutions – such as in the January transfer window, they may look to offload some of their higher earners.
Barcelona still have possibilities to win silverware. The domestic cup is definitely attainable and they could still win the league of course. And the Europa League, why not? Yes this is a blow to their confidence in the short run but by the time we return from the World Cup it will be an entirely different situation.
Xavi has come under criticism but that has subsided in the last few games and for now those criticisms have been silenced.
- 20ÇalhanogluSubstituted forAsllaniat 71′minutes
- 22MkhitaryanSubstituted forGagliardiniat 83′minutes
- 32DimarcoSubstituted forGosensat 77′minutes
- 10MartínezSubstituted forLukakuat 83′minutes
- 9DzekoSubstituted forCorreaat 71′minutes
- 6de Vrij
- 4PernicaBooked at 49mins
- 3TijaniSubstituted forJemelkaat 52′minutes
- 23KalvachSubstituted forN’Diayeat 70′minutes
- 18MosqueraBooked at 45mins
- 77JirkaSubstituted forHolíkat 45′minutes
- 88VlkanovaSubstituted forPilarat 84′minutes
- 90BasseySubstituted forChoryat 45′minutes
- Andreas Ekberg
Match ends, Inter Milan 4, Viktoria Plzen 0.
Second Half ends, Inter Milan 4, Viktoria Plzen 0.
Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Kristjan Asllani with a cross following a set piece situation.
Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jhon Mosquera (Viktoria Plzen).
Foul by Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan).
Václav Pilar (Viktoria Plzen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt saved. Joaquín Correa (Inter Milan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku with a through ball.
Goal! Inter Milan 4, Viktoria Plzen 0. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joaquín Correa with a through ball.
Foul by Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan).
Václav Jemelka (Viktoria Plzen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Joaquín Correa (Inter Milan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robin Gosens.
Substitution, Viktoria Plzen. Václav Pilar replaces Adam Vlkanova.
Corner, Inter Milan. Conceded by Jhon Mosquera.
Substitution, Inter Milan. Romelu Lukaku replaces Lautaro Martínez.
Substitution, Inter Milan. Roberto Gagliardini replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Corner, Inter Milan. Conceded by Jindrich Stanek.
Attempt saved. Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Robin Gosens.
Corner, Viktoria Plzen. Conceded by Nicolò Barella.
Foul by Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan).