Barcelona travelled to Lisbon yesterday evening to face Benfica in the second round of the group stage of the Champions League. Ronald Koeman’s men took a 3-0 beating from Bayern Munich at Camp Nou in the first round and were keen to get back to winning ways; they didn’t. Benfica humbled them, also winning 3-0.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 29, 2021
Barcelona sit sixth in La Liga and have endured a mixed start to the season. They’ve struggled to kickstart their new era having lost Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain. After this result, even the most ardent of Koeman supporters would concede that his days at the club are numbered. Things have gone too far.
It took three minutes for Barcelona to go a goal down. Benfica carved through their defence like hot butter, with Eric Garcia badly exposed. Darwin Nunez then stepped up to deliver the crucial blow and make it 1-0. Things got worse in the second half; Rafa Silva doubled Benfica’s advantage in the 69th minute before Nunez scored his second and Benfica’s third in the 79th. Garcia then saw red in the 87th to compound Barcelona’s misery.
Looks like Otamendi told Fati “who are you” 💀 pic.twitter.com/a1ZODfgrma
— C 🐢 (@ChronozRMA) September 30, 2021
Late on in the game, in the depths of injury time, Benfica centre-back Nicolas Otamendi was seen speaking with Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, who had come on as a substitute in the second half. It appeared that the Argentine was asking Fati who he was; the 18-year-old Spaniard has inherited Messi’s number ten shirt after he left on a free transfer for PSG this past summer.