Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 3-0 on the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening to advance to the Champions League spherical of 16 as group winners.
Xavi Hernandez’s aspect went into the match figuring out they already had no likelihood of reaching the knockout spherical for the second yr in a row after Internazionale beat Viktoria Plzen 4-0 within the early window on Wednesday.
First-half objectives from Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and stoppage-time header from Benjamin Pavard noticed Bayern clinch prime spot in Group C on 15 factors with one sport to play, whereas Inter Milan end second. Barcelona, who will end third no matter outcomes on the ultimate matchday, are headed for the Europa League.
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Wednesday’s outcomes are one other setback for the Catalan membership and will show costlier than final season because the group went on a spending spree in the summertime to spice up their squad within the hope of recovering a few of that cash with a deep run in European competitors.
JUMP TO: Participant rankings | Finest/worst performers | Highlights and noteworthy moments | Submit match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures
1. Barcelona play flat after Champions League exit sealed
With Inter Milan’s win over Viktoria Plzen earlier on Wednesday, Barcelona knew their Champions League hopes have been over for an additional season they usually performed like a group in mourning at occasions towards Bayern. Regardless of Xavi Hernandez’s insistence forward of the sport that this was an opportunity to indicate Barca can compete on the most important stage, they as soon as once more did not ship towards one in all Europe’s finest, as was the case within the latest Traditional defeat Actual Madrid.
Barca will and have already got higher missed possibilities in Munich, refereeing choices in Milan and particular person errors within the 3-3 draw towards Inter, however the truth of the matter is that they haven’t been ok throughout their 5 matches within the Champions League season. That they’ve simply 4 factors is a mirrored image of that.
You can not defend as they did towards Bayern. The benefit with which Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting discovered the online can have angered Xavi. It felt as if Bayern may have gone up a number of extra gears, too. Solely a last-ditch block from Hector Bellerin and a fantastic save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved out a 3rd earlier than the break. Serge Gnabry, the creator of all three objectives, had one other dominated out for offside earlier than an unmarked Benjamin Pavard added the third from a stoppage-time set-play.
Barca, in the meantime, for all their passing, huffing and puffing, by no means actually examined Bayern’s stand-in goalkeeper Sven Ulreich. The closest they got here to a purpose was an overturned penalty for a Matthijs de Ligt problem on Robert Lewandowski, who was as soon as once more compelled to endure a painful evening towards the aspect he left for €45 million in the summertime.
2. Focus to win Europa League, LaLiga for Barcelona
Barca invested over €150m within the squad in the summertime after promoting membership belongings with the target of reaching the latter levels of the Champions League. With that not doable, how do they regroup from right here?
The primary focus now turns into LaLiga. They’ve began effectively, regardless of that defeat to Madrid, and are simply three factors off the highest after 11 video games and only one defeat. With a much-improved squad, the league’s prime scorer in Lewandowski and an rising crop of younger expertise, led by Pedri and Gavi, they need to run Carlo Ancelotti’s aspect shut.
Nevertheless, they’re definitely not favorites in the intervening time and Xavi has even stated if he doesn’t win a trophy this season, he is aware of he may very well be changed. That leaves the Europa League, the place they would be the favourites, though they know the profiles of Europe’s secondary competitors having failed unexpectedly to Eintracht Frankfurt within the quarterfinal final season. Then there’s the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Tremendous Cup. It isn’t what they dreamed of in the summertime after they unveiled Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde, however there’s nonetheless loads of room for enchancment on final season’s trophy-less marketing campaign.
There does appear to be some endurance from the supporters. Having membership legend Xavi because the figurehead of the mission helps and a median attendance of over 80,000 at Camp Nou this season reveals there’s a connection. There have been 84,016 for the Bayern loss and those that stayed till the tip didn’t cease singing.
3. Bayern Munich present why they are a benchmark
Bayern are one of many benchmarks for the place Xavi desires to take his Barca aspect. They’re additionally the group Barca have to be most sick of dealing with. This was their sixth win in a row towards the Catalans, a run which stretches again to 2015 and consists of an 8-2 and three 3-0s, and their eleventh in 15 official conferences.
Their efficiency at Camp Nou was as skilled because it comes. With their place within the last-16 already assured, they nonetheless performed as if there was one thing using on the sport as they wrapped up prime spot forward of their ultimate sport at house to Inter, the place they’ll look to make it six wins from six from what some described because the competitors’s hardest group.
This win was all of the extra spectacular contemplating they have been with out Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane by means of harm, whereas Thomas Muller was solely deemed match for a second-half cameo. Nonetheless, with expertise like Mane, Gnabry and Jamal Musiala, they continue to be one of many groups to be feared in Europe, even when Union Berlin are nonetheless preserving them off the highest of the Bundesliga for now.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen 6; Bellerin 4, Kounde 5, Alonso 5, Balde 6; Busquets 6, De Jong 6, Kessie 5, Pedri 6; Dembele 6, Lewandowski 6
Subs: Raphinha 5, Towers 5, Garcia 5, Ansu 5, Tower 5
Bayern Munich: Ulreich 6; Mazraoui 7, Upamecano 6, de Ligt 7, Davies 6; Kimmich 7, Goretza 6; Gnabry 9, Musiala 8, Mane 8; Choupo Moting 7
Subs: Sabitzer 6, Muller 6, Pavard 6, Gravenberch 6, Stanisic 5
Finest and worst performers
BEST: Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich.
Created Bayern’s first two objectives brilliantly and solely a minimal offside prevented him including a 3rd within the second half. Full a hat-trick of assists late on.
WORST: Hector Bellerin, Barcelona.
Given the powerful job of marking Mane on his first begin since Sept. 10 following his return from harm. He misplaced him for the primary purpose after which performed Choupo-Moting onside for the second. He did make an ideal block later within the first half and by no means gave up, nevertheless it was a tough evening for the previous Arsenal man.
Highlights and noteworthy moments
Oh Mane, Mane. He took out the wind of an already subdued Camp Nou crowd along with his early purpose.
SADIO MANE QUIETS THE CAMP NOU! 🤫 pic.twitter.com/tca0VMMI7A
— CBS Sports activities Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) October 26, 2022
Earlier than kickoff, a tweet from Inter Milan is definitely will not embrace Barcelona.
RETWEET IF YOUR CLUB HAS QUALIFIED FOR THE #UCL ROUND OF 16 😁
— Inter (@Inter_en) October 26, 2022
However a minimum of the Catalans are getting a heat Europa welcome.
welcome again @FC Barcelona 🤗
— UEFA Europa League 🕙 (@Differential_PL) October 26, 2022
After the match: What the managers, gamers stated
Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez after the match: “We weren’t at Bayern’s stage in the present day. They have been higher. In Munich we have been ourselves, however in the present day they have been higher, intense. The elimination earlier than the sport affected us psychologically. Now we practice once more tomorrow and take into consideration LaLiga. There have been a number of expectations however we obtained a tricky group. All kinds has occurred to us within the group stage. It has been merciless on us, however we didn’t compete effectively in the present day.”
Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen on end result: “Disappointment. We did not lose it in the present day however the second normally proper now’s painful. One of many goals was to remain within the Champions League. Now now we have to deal with what’s to come back in LaLiga.
Clearly figuring out we have been already out had an affect. It was an odd feeling. It was extra a pleasure challenge, however we couldn’t match Bayern tonight. They scored objectives at key moments and we couldn’t compete.”
Barcelona’s Pedri on figuring out destiny beforehand: “You do not go into the sport with the identical motivation [after the Inter win]. We wished to present the followers a win nevertheless it was to not be. We owe these supporters rather a lot. They’ve at all times been with us. We owe them wins and trophies. I hope we may give them to them from now.
We’re a younger group with a number of room to enhance. We now have to enhance rather a lot. We’re not but there to compete within the Champions League. It’s actually disappointing what’s occurred in the present day. Seeing what we have seen, it is clear we aren’t but able to compete [at the top level].”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)
– After 17 straight seasons of reaching the knockout levels of the Champions League, Barcelona are set to overlook on consecutive seasons for the primary time for the reason that 1997-98 and 1998-99 campaigns.
-Take heed, which of them. Barcelona are already the favourite to win the UEFA Europa League with a 27% likelihood, based on FivethirtyEight’s SPI.
– Bayern have received six straight matches towards Barcelona, tying them with Espanyol’s streak from 1940-42. The longest successful streak over Barcelona was Actual Madrid’s seven-game stretch from 1962-65.
– Total a disappointing Champions League displaying from LaLiga golf equipment. With Actual Madrid transferring on however Sevilla and Atletico Madrid additionally failing to achieve the last-16, this would be the first time since 1998-99 that Spain won’t have a number of groups in knockout stage. That yr, solely eight groups made it to the knockout stage, with Actual additionally being the only consultant.
Barcelona: Again to LaLiga motion towards a rising Valencia squad on Saturday. After that, a Tuesday journey to Viktoria Plzen in hopes of ending a disappointing Champions League marketing campaign on a excessive observe.
Bayern Munich: Up subsequent can be a Bundesliga match on Saturday internet hosting Mainz. Then they’re going to goal to maintain their sterling Champions League group-stage document with the ultimate match of the spherical towards Inter Milan on Tuesday.