“It’s disgraceful,”a shellshocked Gerard Pique stated in the consequences of Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.”Shame is the word.
“The sentiment was different on Tuesday, as Barca a minimum of this time battled, but Bayern were comfy again, 3-0 winners in the Champions League at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana’s impressive August 2020 embarrassment was so significant since these sides were supposed to be competitors of a comparable requirement. Thirteen months on to the day, Bayern were backed to win huge again. The only surprise was that Barca restricted their opponents to 3.
The Catalan club eventually hearkened Pique’s calls for “changes at all levels”– brand-new president, new coach, brand-new team– but it is difficult to genuinely recommend this is a better attire, even if they have a little bit more fight.
While Pique was among six players in the XI staying from the line-up in Lisbon, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were among the five to make way. Antoine Griezmann, called off the bench in the quarter-final, has also now departed. Those three outstanding aggressors accounted for Barca’s seven shots in that tie.
Rather, Luuk de Jong debuted on Tuesday, with Barca still searching for a post-Messi formula. Griezmann was among 2 players to have actually moved on from Barcelona because starting their previous match at the end of August.
Possibly Ronald Koeman is worthy of credit then for forging some sort of coherent unit in the interim. A three-man defence made Ronald Araujo a star in the opening phases as he battled Leroy Sane, assisting Barca reach the 31-minute mark unbreached– the 2019-20 clash brought a record 4 Bayern goals in the same period.
But pressure was constructing and the development followed three minutes later as Araujo’s defensive colleague Eric Garcia turned his back to a long-range Thomas Muller effort and accidentally deflected the ball beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Koeman, coach of the Netherlands when Barcelona were taking their drubbing in 2015, informed today of how “a number of players suffered a lot” in Portugal, potentially describing an unwillingness to come out of their shell after going behind.
Revenge had been on the Barca employer’s mind as he discussed looking “for our style to hurt the opposition”, but that felt positive here. Before and after the opener on Tuesday, Dayot Upamecano controlled De Jong and Memphis Depay, winning nine of 15 battles, making 4 tackles and four interceptions.
Bayern have now won eight of 12 games versus Barca but rarely can they have actually been so plainly exceptional, not tallying an appealing score however controlling procedures with a conviction that the five-time European champions did not have the attacking talent to problem them. The hosts did not muster a shot on target in a Champions League game for the very first time considering that at least 2003-04, Opta stated.
That gulf must not have actually come as news to Koeman, even if he wore a concerned expression when Robert Lewandowski stabbed in an easy 2nd, Alphonso Davies’ shot having been obstructed and Jamal Musiala’s follow-up striking the post. Providing some of his more sobering thoughts previously today, Koeman had considered: “Can you return to the level where you will truly win Champions Leagues and be the best in Spain for years in a row? That is not the case at the moment. Let’s hope that it will come again.”
The crowd appear to have actually pertained to terms with the very same realism. Having actually been absent when Barca’s earliest Champions League XI played out the previous meeting, they stuck to a team that featured 4 teenagers by full-time. The veteran Pique was still on the pitch, too, to hopelessly fall at the feet of Lewandowski following another rebound five minutes from completion, offering the forward time to discover the internet once more.
Pique led the applause in a program of gratitude for those supporters at the final whistle, as attention now turns to merely getting out of the group. It is a modest ambition, however this is the very first time Barca have actually lost a Champions League opener since 1997-98.
Beyond that, the monetary benefits surely supply more attainable goals than the rewards available for Bayern and Co. Revenge in this fixture will need to wait. For how long, who knows?