Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich: German champions pile on the misery for Xavi and Co after they were knocked out before a ball had been kicked… with Sadio Mane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard all scoring in rout at the Nou Camp
- Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou in the Champions League
- Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both netted in the first half
- Benjamin Pavard then converted Serge Gnabry’s third assist in added time
- Barca were relegated to the Europa League by Inter earlier on Wednesday
- The Italians cruised to a 4-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen to knock out Barca
Barcelona waved and drowned at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night – waving goodbye to the Champions League for the second consecutive season and drowning in another deluge of Bayern Munich goals.
It was 3-0 on the night and the 5-0 aggregate score from their two games against the Germans in the group stage is a reminder of how far they still have to go to get back to the top level of European football.
To their credit, they had nothing to play for from kick-off – as soon as Inter beat Viktoria Plzen in the early kick-off, their presence in the Europa League was assured. But pride was at stake and they salvaged some after a first half served up on the lightning break by Sadio Mane and Eric Choupo-Moting.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring after 10 minutes for Bayern Munich against Barcelona
Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting then scored the second on 31 minutes
That pride was on display again after the final whistle as the supporters behind North Goal urged the players back onto the pitch and they had to carefully applaud the fans still in the stadium.
It was when the Barcelona players were warming up before the match that the stadium DJ played AC-DC’s Highway to Hell, not the best choice of pre-match song in the circumstances.
A morning newspaper in the city even had the headline: “Miracle or hell” and Inter Milan’s victory had made it the latter.
The Camp Nou was full even though the supporters knew it could be over before a ball was kicked, and they whistled the UEFA anthem louder than ever. They still claim a conspiracy as they missed what looked like a clear penalty for handball in their away game with Inter.
The Catalan giants were dumped out of the Champions League after Inter beat Viktoria Plzen
Their failure to pick up more than four points from five games has been about more than match officials, but there was another boundary decision that went against them and so it will not be assuaged by claims that they have been stitched up in revenge for trying to launch a Super League to compete with UEFA.
Before the tight call came the two Bayern goals in the first half. The first came after 10 minutes and it was far too easy for the guests. With the Barcelona defense parked on the halfway line, Serge Gnabry played a long diagonal in behind and Sadio Mane ran onto it and beat Hector Bellerin before angling his shot past Marc Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona supporters responded with a crescendo of noise that intensified when Mane kicked Jules Konde and went unpunished. They loudly conceded shortly afterwards when Leon Goretzka bumped Sergio Busquets and was booked.
Barca struggled to convert their possession into shots on goal with Sven Ulreich unconcerned
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Bellerín, Koundé (Garcia 68′), Alonso, Balde; Kessie, Busquets (Torres 59′), de Jong; Dembélé (Fati 68′), Lewandowski (Torre 82′), Pedri (Raphinha 59′)
Substitutes not used: Piqué, Alba, Peña Sotorres, Gavi, Tenas
Manager: Xavi Hernandez
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Mazraoui (Stansic 79′), Upamecano (Pavard 63′), de Ligt, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Musiala (Gravenberch 67′), Mané; Choupo-Moting (Muller 63′)
Unused substitutes: Coman, Sabitzer, Schenk, Tel
Goals: Mane, Choupo-Moting, Pavard
Bookings: Mazraoui, Upamecano, Goretzka
Things picked up when Barça got down the left but Robert Lewandowski was the only man in the middle and he couldn’t finish.
Ousmane Dembele then skipped past Alphonso Davies and almost found Pedri as Barça increased their passing and movement speed. But at half an hour they were two behind.
Once again, that high defensive line was helpless against a well-coordinated attack. And again it was Gnabry who played the pass, this time to Choupo-Moting, played to the side of Bellerin, who was lined up against Marcos Alonso. The Bayern man found space for the shot and Ter Stegen was well beaten once again.
Not everyone lost their private duel – Dembele was beaten by Davies once again, although when the move broke down and a late challenge from Sergio Busquets earned him a yellow.
Just before the break, both sides could have scored. Bellerin and Ter Stegen made goal-line blocks at one end and at the other Dembele led the counter attack and for once his passing matched his pace.
He played in Lewandowski who went down under Matthijs de Ligt’s challenge. Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and gave him a warning, but when he checked his decision on the pitch he decided the Polish forward had provoked the contact.
The Camp Nou erupted in fury once more, chanting: “UEFA is a mafia” and blowing the match official’s whistle at half-time.
There were more encouraging signs for Barcelona on the restart when Dembele raced clear on the counter only to fail to find Lewandowsky.
Benjamin Pavard then scored the third with a goal in stoppage time off Serge Gnabry’s cross
And then down the left, Balde got in behind Bayern once more. Despite all Dembele’s threats, he gave the ball away and a misplaced pass started a counter that ended with Gnabry curling his shot past Ter Stegen. The goal was chalked off when VAR ruled offside.
Xavi took two outsides on the hour but left Dembele on. He moved to the left with Raphinha going next to the right and Ferran Torres playing behind Lewandowski in a 4-2-3-1. Pedri and Busquets departed and the latter was booed by home supporters as he left.
Ansu Fati was the next to arrive and this time Dembele was given a place. Fati came close to scoring with his first chance, only curling his shot wide after dribbling through Bayern’s packed penalty box.
Barcelona were already out before the match started but they chased Xavi until the end
Barcelona chased Xavi until the final whistle and this defeat will not derail the young manager’s forward march. It was just one more in a long line of reality checks and when Benjamin Pavard scored the third on the last meaningful kickoff, it made things look even worse.
However, the larger effects will be felt outside the plan with the lost prize money leaving a hole in the budget. Last year it felt like the club had excuses for not getting out of their Champions League group – they were broke and they had just lost Lionel Messi.
This time, having mortgaged their future to spend €150m in the summer, they dared to dream more but have been comfortably third best behind Bayern and Inter.
Germany’s Gnabry played creatively as he provided all three assists for his team on the night
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