After starting the game in Bavaria reasonably well, it was a shame that such a poor goal from Thomas Muller was the pre-cursor to the floodgates theoretically opening.
It was always going to be a tall order to beat Bayern in their own backyard, but it was pleasing to see the team make a decent fist of it until that opener.
Once that goal was awarded, you felt the shoulders collectively went down and the team appeared beaten from that point.
The odd moment notwithstanding, there was little for Xavi and culers around the world to get excited about after that.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen certainly didn’t help matters with an early mistake and then a baffling attempt at trying to save Leroy Sane’s blockbuster.
At the other end, Memphis Depay’s poor form continues. If the situation were different, I’d contend that he’d be pulled out of the firing line for a period, but we don’t have that luxury at present.
And there’s the rub.
Goals scored by Barça in the #UCL group stage in the last decade:— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) December 8, 2021
This horrible, horrible situation that we find ourselves in won’t be fixed overnight. There might even be more nights like this one if we find ourselves drawn against the likes of Dortmund, Sevilla or Napoli.
However, there has to be an acceptance that this team are at the very beginning of a long, hard road ahead.
We are not the Barcelona of a few years ago, we cannot compete on the same stage as teams we used to stand shoulder to shoulder with in the past.
But the Blaugranes will come again, and when they do, it will be a pleasure to watch.
Tonight was Barcelona's 10th (!) UCL loss by 3 goals or more since February 2017. Overseen by 5 different coaches.— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) December 8, 2021
PSG 4-0 Barca
Juve 3-0 Barca
Roma 3-0 Barca
Liverpool 4-0 Barca
Bayern 8-2 Barca
Barca 0-3 Juve
Barca 1-4 PSG
Barca 0-3 Bayern
Benfica 3-0 Barca
Bayern 3-0 Barca
It’s surely a hard watch at the moment, but there is incredible room for growth with so many of these young players and there is still much to be positive about.
The Europa League is arguably an embarrassment that the club could’ve done without, and from a financial standpoint it does them no favours either.
Were Barca to exit that competition early, it’s another nail in the coffin, but if it can be won, and therefore automatic entrance into next season’s Champions League is guaranteed, there’ll likely not be too many complaints.
There’s three months before the European games start again in earnest, Covid notwithstanding.
That’s plenty of time for Xavi to get into the team, alter the narrative, and have a good transfer window to lift the enveloping gloom.