Barcelona started the new Champions League season in depressing fashion, losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou in the group stage opener. Barça seemed to accept their fate from the beginning and were thoroughly dominated by the visitors, who cruised through most of the game and showed their superior quality to win with ease.
Barça made a solid start to the game, attempting to match Bayern’s intensity and going toe-to-toe with the German champions. The Blaugrana pressed high up the pitch and gave the visitors very little room to breathe, and neither team manage to create danger in the first 15 minutes.
Slowly but surely, however, Bayern got hold of the ball and started to dominate, forcing Barça to sit deeper and deeper inside their half and starting to find spaces inside the final third. Barça had to throw bodies all over the box to stop shots from going in, and both Gerard Piqué and Ronald Araujo needed to make last-ditch tackles to keep Bayern from taking the lead.
But a Bayern goal felt inevitable, and it came with 10 minutes to go in the half when a shot from distance by Thomas Müller hit Eric García’s backside and gave Marc-André ter Stegen no chance to make a save. The final 10 minutes were completely dominated by Bayern who knew they were the better team and saw Barça park the bus to go into halftime only down by a goal.
At halftime, Barça were playing like a relegation candidate trying to avoid embarrassment at home, and a comeback felt almost impossible.
The second half was quite depressing from a Barça perspective. There were no halftime adjustments and Barça continued to drop back and try and keep the score at 1-0 to maybe rescue a point late, but Robert Lewandowski scored a tap-in to make it 2-0 just 10 minutes into the second half to effectively kill the game.
The rest of the game saw Bayern not getting out of third gear while Barça clearly accepted the result, bringing on the youngsters off the bench while trying not to concede more. The plan didn’t work as Bayern got a third, with Lewandowski once again all alone inside the box to score his second of the night.
The final whistle mercifully came, and Barça have once again been humbled by a team that is so clearly above them it’s not even funny. Unless something changes, these nights will happen again and again.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto (Demir 59’), Araujo, Piqué, García (Mingueza 66’), Alba (Balde 73’); Busquets (Gavi 59’); De Jong, Pedri, Memphis; L. De Jong (Coutinho 66’)
Bayern: Neuer; Pavard (Hernández 66’), Upamecano, Süle (Stanisic 82’), Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Musiala (Gnabry 70’), Müller (Sabitzer 82’), Sané (Coman 82’); Lewandowski
Goals: Müller (34’), Lewandowski (56’, 85’)