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Five talking points from Barcelona’s huge Champions League defeat to Bayern

More European humiliation for the Catalan giants

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Photo by Rafael Marchante/Pool via Getty Images

This result had been coming

As shocking as the 8-2 scoreline is this kind of result has been coming for some time now with Barcelona (or Messi) having been papering over the cracks for a while.

Indeed the prospect of Robert Lewandowski and Co. facing Barcelona’s defence, which has been wobbly for a long time, filled many supporters were dread before the match.

Those fears turned out to be well-founded as the Bavarian giants handed Barcelona a proper drubbing and yet another humiliating exit from Europe’s top competition.

First there was Roma, then there was Liverpool and now this. Enough is enough.

It will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst nights in the club’s history, but if there’s a glimmer of hope in all this it’s that surely now the club will be forced into action. Let’s just hope it’s the right kind.

Bayern finish off Setien

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Photo by Rafael Marchante/Pool via Getty Images

The chances of Quique Setien being in charge at the start of next season looked pretty slim ahead of the game, but Bayern’s thrashing ensured there’s no way he can continue now.

The 61-year-old picked the XI we were all expecting for the match, but didn’t necessarily want, and once again left Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati on the bench.

Indeed Puig hasn’t managed a single minute since his impressive display against Alaves on the last day of the season in La Liga that promised so much.

Meanwhile, Setien once again looked helpless and completely out of his depth on the touchline as his team capitulated.

Of course it’s not all his fault, but he’s likely to be the first to leave. The big question now is who will replace Setien in the Camp Nou hotseat?

Time up for Pique and Co.?

It’s no secret that Barca have an aging squad. Indeed their quarter-final line-up was the oldest the club have ever named in Europe’s top competition, according to Opta.

Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are all the wrong side of 30 and it showed as Barca were completely demolished.

An overhaul is badly needed and well overdue as even Pique admitted after the match. He said he’d be the first to walk away if needed and urged everyone to “look and reflect internally and decide what is best for Barca.”

It will take courage to rip this squad up and start again, but some tough decisions need to be made by both the players and management over the coming weeks.

Barca’s transfer policy shown up again

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Photo by Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images

What was noticeable ahead of kick-off at the Estadio da Luz was the presence of three of Barca’s biggest signings all sitting on the bench for the quarter-final clash.

Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, at a combined cost of over €200m, were Barca substitutes, while Philippe Coutinho took his place on the Bayern bench.

Griezmann came on at half-time but made little impact once again, while Coutinho arrived and promptly helped himself to an assist and two goals.

The Brazilian could cost Barca even more if Bayern do go on and win the Champions League this season.

Reports claim the Catalans will have to pay Liverpool an extra €5m if Coutinho lifts the European Cup, even if it is while wearing a Bayern shirt.

What now for Barcelona?

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Photo by Manu Fernandez/Pool via Getty Images

Barcelona’s latest European humiliation once again showed up many of the problems at the club and has already prompted plenty of speculation about what will happen next.

President Josep Maria Bartomeu said after the match “changes will be made” and Setien is likely to be the first to go, Eric Abidal and Oscar Grau may follow in his wake.

Diario AS are reporting the Barca dressing room wants the club to call presidential elections and are keen to have Xavi in charge. RAC1 report a board meeting will take place on Monday.

Over at Mundo Deportivo there is word that Bartomeu could call for elections in March or April and a date will be announced soon.

A new manager will have to be in place well before then, while Barca have all sorts of decisions to make about their squad ahead of the new season.

So, strap yourselves in because some intriguing days and weeks lie ahead for Barca.

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