But with Dembele flagging at San Siro on Tuesday, Malcom was called from the bench in his place and netted less than two minutes later to open the scoring.
Mauro Icardi's equaliser four minutes later ultimately cancelled out Malcom's effort, but the Brazilian is now hopeful of building on his maiden goal, and reiterated his desire to force his way into Ernesto Valverde's plans.
"There's the worldwide break after this game and he'll have two more weeks".
"We had to dig deep and find another level when it mattered".
"We're all happy for Malcom", Busquets said. "When he recovers, we will be even better".
All four teams can still make it through to the last 16 as Liverpool and Napoli are tied with six points while PSG and Red Star are on five and four respectively.
Messi still travelled for the game to show his support for his teammates.
Barca, without injured Lionel Messi, were left to lament throwing away three points from a game in which they created more than enough chances to win but couldn't get past the superb Slovenia global in the Inter goal.
In an early Group A fixture, FC Brugge recorded their first win in the competition with a 4-0 thrashing of French side Monaco. You can also watch the match via B/R Live and Univision Deportes En Vivo. "We were more ambitious and we dominated the whole game".
This result also came on the day the club's Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev was arrested in a corruption investigation.