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Xavi must shoulder blame for another hugely disappointing European night for Barcelona

No ideas and no nous

FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The result of Wednesday night’s game was completely incidental just as soon as Inter Milan had taken the lead in the earlier kick-off against Viktoria Plzen.

It says much for the conviction that culers had in Xavi’s project that a near capacity crowd still turned up for what was always going to be a dead rubber.

There was still pride to play for after all. The badge. The fans. Their places.

More than enough reason for every player in a Barcelona shirt to put in a performance worthy of this European behemoth, not another meek Champions League surrender.

Unfortunately for all of those present and a clearly irritated Xavi, the latter is precisely what was served up at the Spotify Camp Nou.

Just nine minutes in, Sadio Mané once again highlighted what has been a problem for the Blaugranes in all of the big games this season.

FC Barcelona v FC Bayern München: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

A simple through ball completely dissected a static home defence… 0-1.

When exactly are Barça going to learn not to play the high line if they don’t have the players to execute it?!

The result and manner of the performance is on Xavi if, as we are led to believe, the team he picked was the one he was going to use regardless of the result in Italy.

Julian Nagelsmann would’ve known that his attackers were going to have rich pickings with Marcos Alonso in central defence and Héctor Bellerín out wide. And so it proved.

Both were at fault for elements in the Bavarians’ two goals which turned any initial party atmosphere almost funereal.

Aside from some sporadic thrusts into Bayern territory from Ousmane Dembélé and Alejandro Balde, Barça offered nothing at the opposite end of the pitch either.

FC Barcelona v Bayern Munchen - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The Frenchman’s connection with Bellerín was non-existent, to the point where Xavi arguably needs a rethink at right-back, even if Sergi Roberto remains sidelined for a little while.

The frankly preposterous penalty review just before half-time summed up Barça’s night in one moment.

However, it’s no use Barça feeling sorry for themselves. There’s a Europa League to win.

We may be back where we were a year ago, and that’s a damning indictment of Xavi’s managerial acumen given how heavily he was backed in the summer, and yet it could still turn into a relatively successful campaign.

Just a few weeks until the World Cup will allow a reset of sorts, followed by another transfer window and therefore renewed focus in the new year.

Only three points behind Real Madrid in La Liga isn’t the worst position to be in, and a favourable draw in Europe could see the positivity flooding back.

Xavi does have it all to do to turn around public opinion at this point, mind. Time for him to stand up and be counted.

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