The second leg that was played at Camp Nou started at 1-1 with Barca having the away goal advantage.
"Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado were the only ones able to beat their man because at the moment Ronaldo is struggling to dribble."
Paulo Dybala and Danilo both missed their spot-kicks for record 13-times Italian Cup champions Juventus with Arkadiusz Milik slotting in the winner for Napoli past veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
There has been no sport in Italy since March 9 as a result of the spread of COVID-19, with the Serie A initially going behind closed doors before the shutdown occurred.
Messi failed to score on his first appearance at the Stadio San Paolo, where Napoli legend Diego Maradona reigned supreme three decades ago.
Napoli, who last won the trophy in 2014, now take a slim advantage into the second leg at their Stadio San Paolo on March 5.
Napoli have bought Slovak international midfielder Stanislav Lobotka from Celta Vigo, the two clubs announced.
Antonio Conte's Inter ended their 23-year wait for a league win in Naples to stay in pole position, level on points with Juventus after 18 games, but ahead on goal difference.
Juventus return to action after their Italian Super Cup defeat to Lazio against a Cagliari side that had been in impressive form before back-to-back losses.
Sarri won plaudits for the expansive passing football his Napoli team played in the three seasons he was in charge, but he failed to halt Juventus' dominance of Serie A.
The polish on Conte's tenure at Chelsea has become tarnished both at boardroom level and amongst his players.
The 59-year-old former banker has been linked with Chelsea to replace fellow Italian Antonio Conte whose future at the English Premier League club remains uncertain.
Juventus now need just one point to officially retain their crown with games to come against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico and already-relegated Verona in Turin.
Napoli are targeting a third Serie A title and first since 1990, with their sole focus now on the Scudetto after their Europa League and Italian Cup exits.