Barcelona alredy started Wednesday’s game against Bayern Munich eliminated from the Champions League with two group stage matches to spare, but proved against the Germans that they might just be Europa League level thanks to an awful 3-0 loss at the Spotify Camp Nou. The Blaugrana had zero fight, zero intensity and zero creativity in attack, and comfortably lost to a Bayern side that barely had to try for the entire 90 minutes.
The dejected, depressed body language of the Barcelona players during the Champions League anthem was a sign of things to come. The first 45 minutes were absolutely pathetic from a team that was clearly impacted by Inter Milan’s win and couldn’t muster any energy or intensity at all.
Only Ousmane Dembélé showed any real fighting spirit, and Robert Lewandowski was the only other playing willing to deal with Bayern physical play and at least attempt to be a threat. The Germans never needed to try that hard, and they still created big chances and found the back of the net against a terrible Barça defense.
The first goal came from a glorious through ball by Serge Gnabry to find Sadio Mané, who easily beat Héctor Bellerín for pace and chipped the ball over Marc-André ter Stegen to give Bayern the lead; 20 minutes later, a similar counter-attacking goal with another assist from Gnabry and a good finish by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Barça were almost given a lifeline just before hlaftime when Lewandowski went down under a challenge from Matthijs De Ligt, and referee Anthony Taylor gave a penalty before going to the VAR monitor and changing his mind despite not seeing any clear and obvious evidence to reverse his call.
At halftime a depressing Barça were deservedly down two goals against a Bayern team that barely needed to try, and unfortunately there were still 45 minutes to play.
Xavi Hernández, for reasons known only to him, made no changes at halftime and watched his team get even worse for 15 more minutes before deciding to make substitutions, but the game was beyond done at that point and Barça had absolutely no answers against a Bayern team that continued to sleepwalk their way to an easy win.
There was some slight improvement to the attacking play in the final 20 minutes once Ansu Fati came on, but nothing that truly scared the Germans. The final moments were legit depressing to watch, with a Barça side running after the ball like school kids while Bayern just passed it with ease just waiting for the end of the game.
There was still time to make things worse, however, as the visitors had a late corner and Benjamin Pavard found himself all alone inside the box to score Bayern’s third with the last touch of the game.
The final whistle came to finish Barça’s Champions League journey with another European embarassment. These have become the norm over the last half-decade, and this team is truly terrible to watch in continental play. What a horrible night.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Bellerín, Kounde (Eric 68’), Alonso, Balde; Kessie, Busquets (Ferran 59’), De Jong; Dembélé (Fati 68’), Lewandowski (Torre 82’), Pedri (Raphinha 59’)
Bayern: Ulreich; Mazraoui (Stanisic 79’), Upamecano (Pavard 63’), De Ligt, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka (Sabitzer 46’); Gnabry, Musiala (Gravenberch 67’), Mané; Choupo-Moting (Müller 63’)
Goals: Mané (10’), Choupo-Moting (31’), Pavard (90+5’)