Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich
Barcelona were already knocked out of the Champions League when they took to the pitch against Bayern Munich, due to Inter’s victory over Viktoria Plzen earlier on. There might have been pride or a performance to salvage, but the sensation by the end was of a team entirely adrift.
There were echoes of defeats past as Barcelona kept the ball and played with enthusiasm in the first half. Whenever they entered the final third, Bayern always knew where they could thwart the attack. On the counter, Hector Bellerin could not keep pace with Sadio Mane as he raced onto a Serge Gnabry ball and finished with ease.
A similar scene played out again as Barcelona were taken apart on the break. Gnabry again was the instigator, as he sent Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting clear down the right. He nutmegged Marc-Andre ter Stegen to double their lead from an angle.
Barcelona will feel frustrated after they were eventually awarded the penalty they had been asking for, only for VAR to rule that Matthijs de Ligt’s toe on the ball was sufficient to permit bringing down Robert Lewandowski.
The Blaugrana continued doing what they could and arriving to the final third. A full Camp Nou only wanted something to get behind, a goal was not within Barcelona’s capabilities though. Xavi Hernandez switched to a 4-2-3-1 after the hour mark and at various points they managed the penultimate touch but not the finish.
In the final moments, Benjamin Pavard finished at the back post following a poorly defended corner, sealing a sorry night for the Blaugrana. Barcelona drop into the Europa League for a second straight season. As frustrating as the defeat and the exit will be, the familiarity of it all will sicken many in Catalonia.