Barcelona crashed after a humiliating loss to Bayern Munich
Barcelona: Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion on Wednesday after losing 3-0 at Camp Nou to Bayern Munich.
The 3-0 loss at home left coach Xavi’s side with just four points from five games in Group C, six points behind second-placed Inter, which ensured they would be relegated to the Europa League.
It is the second season in a row that five-time winners Barcelona have failed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, having previously done so for 17 consecutive seasons.
The mood was desperate enough in the Barca camp before this game started. The miracle on which all hopes were placed did not happen. As everyone feared, Inter beat Viktoria Pilsen and beat them soundly 4-0.
The slim chance of still reaching the last 16 of the Champions League was already gone before a ball was kicked at Camp Nou.
An early setback
Barca were only playing for pride. And after five straight losses to Bayern Munich, this match offered the perfect chance to regain some of that.
Unfortunately, even that wasn’t going to happen. After just ten minutes, Sadio Mane converted Serge Gnabry’s well-judged pass and within half an hour, Eric Choupo-Moting had put Bayern’s second away.
Despite doing most of the play, Barça were caught out twice on the counter-attack. And the Germans could have done it again had Ter Stegen not made a phenomenal save late in the half and Gnabry had no goal recorded as an offside.
It all went wrong, but credit must go to the 84,016 fans at the Spotify Camp Nou, a huge crowd given the circumstances, who got behind their team all the way.
They had nothing to be happy about, but they rejoiced anyway. But even when Robert Lewandowski went down in the area and Barca were awarded a penalty, VAR gave the Germans a reprieve.
Instead, the only other goal, and with virtually the last kick of the game, and just to add salt to the wound, came from the leg of Benjamin Pawar.
It was the fourth time Barça had lost both home and away to the Bavarians in this competition.
Barca will complete their Group C schedule with a visit to Viktoria Pilsen next Tuesday. This game will have no bearing on the final positions that have already been decided.
The only consolation, which seems small to me at the moment, is that tonight’s results really do ensure that Barca will finish third in the group and thus secure a place in the Europa League.
It’s not the trophy Barca wanted at the start of the season, but having put that disappointment behind them, it’s still a goal Xavi Hernandez and the team will relish.