Barcelona continued their terrible start to the European season with a 3-0 loss to Benfica at the Estádio da Luz in the second Champions League group stage game. The Blaugrana conceded early and looked terrible for most of the night, and the home team added two goals in the second half to destroy Barça for good.
The first half started badly for Barça as Pedri lost a ball in midfield to Julian Weigl, who launched it over the defense for Darwin Núñez to chase and the young Uruguayan took on Eric García and fired a shot into the bottom corner to give Benfica the lead after just 150 seconds.
Barça responded well to going behind and created a golden chance when Pedri found Frenkie De Jong all alone inside the box and the Dutchman set up Luuk De Jong for an easy tap-in, but the striker somehow miskicked the ball and allowed Lucas Veríssimo to clear away the danger.
After that chance, Barça could no longer threat the Benfica defense and Ronald Koeman decided to make a change, bringing Gavi off the bench after just 32 minutes to replace Gerard Piqué. The substitution seemed attacking but Barça remain in a defensive 3-5-2 formation with Frenkie at the back, and the Blaugrana struggled to the end of the half.
At halftime, Barça were losing and not playing well at all, and needed a lot of improvement to get a result in the second half.
The second half was an absolute disaster: Barça completely imploded and couldn’t create any danger, while Benfica had chance after chance on the counter. The Blaugrana lost easy balls in midfield and left acres of space in behind, and they continued to be punished.
First it was Rafa Silva who found the back of the net after a shot from João Mário was saved by Marc-André ter Stegen, then Sergiño Dest was called for a handball inside the box and Darwin Núñez scored his second of the night to make it 3-0. Eric García was sent off for two yellow cards, and the final whistle came to end another abysmal night for the Catalans.
The Ronald Koeman era has to end. This is too painful. This club is broken.
Benfica: Vlachodimos; Veríssimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Lazaro (Gilberto 45’), Weigl, Mário, Grimaldo (Almeida 76’); Rafa Silva (Pizzi 86’); Yaremchuk (Taarabt 76’), Núñez (Ramos 86’)
Goals: Nûñez (3’, pen 79’), Rafa Silva (69’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; García, Piqué (Gavi 33’), Araujo; Roberto (Mingueza 89’), F. De Jong, Busquets (Nico 68’), Pedri (Coutinho 68’), Dest; L. De Jong (Fati 68’), Memphis
Red Card: García (87’)