Bayern Munich confirmed Barcelona precisely how dreary life shall be with out Lionel Messi on Tuesday when it dealt the Spanish staff its first loss because the exit of the star ahead.
Thomas Müller scored a objective and Robert Lewandowski added two extra to assist Bayern ease to a 3-0 victory at Camp Nou of their Champions League opener.
Müller’s Thirty fourth-minute strike took his profession tally to seven objectives in opposition to Barcelona, together with the 2 he netted within the 8-2 shellacking Bayern dealt Barcelona the final time they met in August 2020.
With out Messi to depend on because it had for years, Barcelona was operating scared from the beginning because it targeted on defending itself from one other embarrassing defeat.
The ultimate rating hid the entire dominance of the Bundesliga powerhouse. Julian Nagelsmann’s staff turned the as soon as nice attacking juggernaut of Barcelona right into a jittery bunch hunkered down in their very own space.
Lewandowski capitalized on Bayern’s full management with objectives within the 56th and eighty fifth, each instances placing in rebounds from photographs that got here off the put up to the striker.
“We gave little away on the again,” Müller stated. “Going ahead, we might have scored one or two extra. It’s lots of enjoyable taking part in right here, the boys loved it.”
Even having its followers again at Camp Nou, which was at 40% capability, for the primary time within the Champions League because the begin of the pandemic couldn’t muster a greater exhibiting from the house squad.
Barcelona had two wins and a attract its three earlier matches, all within the Spanish league, that it had performed this season after its wretched funds had stored it from resigning Messi.
“We want to have competed higher, however that is what now we have proper now,” Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman stated. “I can’t complain about our perspective, we tried our greatest. However there’s a distinction in expertise and a distinction between a staff that has performed a very long time collectively and our staff with a number of younger gamers. It’s troublesome to simply accept, however now we have to maintain working.”
After going undefeated in 38 consecutive Champions League dwelling video games till final 12 months, Barcelona has misplaced three in a row. Bayern, in the meantime, elevated its file unbeaten run away from dwelling within the competitors to 19 straight video games.
Additionally in Group E, Benfica drew 0-0 at Dynamo Kyiv.
When Bayern routed Barcelona within the 2020 Champions League quarterfinals, Barcelona might rely on Messi, Luis Suárez and Antoine Griezmann. They’re all gone as a result of the membership couldn’t afford their wages.
Barcelona’s assault is now speared by Memphis Depay, one of many few vivid spots for the membership this season. He was joined by new arrival Luuk de Jong, who made his debut after a last-minute transfer from Sevilla.
Neither, nevertheless, might obtain a ball in a scoring place from their teammates.
Barcelona fell into defending deep inside its space and paid for it when Müller was left alone exterior the field. His unchallenged shot took a deflection off Eric García, leaving Marc-Andre Ter Stegen no probability to avoid wasting.
Barcelona didn’t produce a shot on objective in 90-plus minutes. The closest it got here to even making Manuel Neuer work was a determined attempt by Sergio Busquets from lengthy vary that sailed broad shortly earlier than Lewandowski doubled the lead when he put in a rebound from a shot by Jamal Musiala.
Seeing the defeat was assured, Koeman gave Champions League debuts to 18-year-old Yusuf Demir and 17-year-old Gavi. A hamstring drawback that compelled Jordi Alba off let 18-year-old Alejandro Balde make his aggressive debut.
Philippe Coutinho got here on as a late substitute for his first match for Barcelona since a left knee damage he suffered in December.
A lack of possession by Demir led to Lewandowski’s double when he once more was alone to place in a shot by Serge Gnabry that got here off the upright.
“We got here to win this sport and we knew that we needed to present respect to Barcelona,” Lewandowski stated. “Once you play on the Camp Nou in opposition to them they’re all the time harmful. However we had this sport below management and we confirmed we had been right here for the three factors.”