Barcelona players sat under the stand at the Camp Nou and watched their Champions League final, then ran onto the pitch and showed some reasons. Already thrown off when this game started, seeing any last little hope dashed out on TV as Inter beat Viktoria Plzen in the early start, they couldn’t even have a little fun before saying goodbye, leaving little to remember. by. Instead, they head to the Europa League after their 3-0 defeat, their sixth in a row against Bayern Munich. Overall score: 19-2.
Who knows: Maybe if it mattered, it would have been different. Watching their execution just before that might not have been the best idea, as Chaffee said: “The knockout hit us before the match.” And that’s Bayern too, a “super team” as he puts it. But in the end, Barcelona caused their demise, leaving the feeling that this level is still far from them, so their stomachs are very weak. “We are a young team and we don’t have enough to compete in the Champions League,” Pedri said.
“You learn by taking hits, and that’s a big hit,” Xavi said.
He admitted that Bayern was better in every way. If there was pride at play, a point to be made, it didn’t show up very often. It’s not that Bayern destroyed them exactly, though they have competed, than that they lost last. Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s goals were already enough before Benjamin Pavard added another with the finishing touch.
Barcelona did not take a single shot on goal. Even when Robert Lewandowski thought he had taken a penalty before the break, it wasn’t, the ball was taken from him on the spot, and Anthony Taylor consulted the VAR and decided he dived – which he spoke of the frustration, and impotence that defined them. He, too, is unable to score in any meeting with his former club.
In any case, it has already been done, confirming what Barcelona knew from the beginning of the day: that their fate would be decided in a far away stadium. or perhaps more accurately, had already, until then. However, having this guide in their own hands will not be better than this.
In Munich and Milan, Barcelona had moments but were beaten, and those defeats were followed by a scattered 3-3 foul with Inter that sent Barcelona facing the abyss and Xavi described the competition as “tough”. They had to win the remaining two matches and needed Inter not to win any of their matches.
“Hope is the last thing you lose,” Chaffee said, but he was the first.
Inter faced the team that lost all four matches and conceded 16 matches, and called the Barcelona players to watch it together. It wasn’t a huge motivation: before the break, the Italians were two ahead; Just as Barcelona ran to warm up, they scored their fourth goal. They knew it was over. It’s time for the second division in Europe.
Xavi has tried to avoid the word failure but the Europa League is not where Barcelona is supposed to be. Not where they budgeted either – still less for the second season in a row. The last coach to take charge for two consecutive years in the UEFA Cup here was Terry Venables. If last year was a reflection of their reality – “that’s what it is,” in the words of Gerard Pique – this would have been different, which made it even more painful.
Barcelona can’t afford this, sure. While every euro counts, this early exit costs around 20 million of it, plus spillovers.
There’s an emotional component, too: Pulling the famous (in) jacks, making several contracts and selling assets, was a risk designed to start a virtuous cycle. Instead, Barcelona got out of place sooner than at any time in 24 years, and the match was over. Two games, actually.
Nor can they enjoy the first of those, or offer hope for the future, Serge Gnabry slips through the knife. Only nine minutes went by when Mane sent away Hector Bellerin to cut the opener and in half an hour he did it again, rolling the ball into Chupo Moting to score. Upon death, Pavard’s shot hit the third and his third pass was given to him. Gnabry thought he scored one of his goals earlier, just in order to be disqualified, but that doesn’t matter. In the end none of it happened, it ended before it started.
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