Last night the world of football witnessed another historical thumping of a “Big” team by another big team.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich was the most anticipated game of the Champions League last 8. And while many expected the German giants to prevail, the manner it happened is one that’s going to live in the memory of every football fans for a very very long time.
The Champions league knock-out rounds had been trimmed to just a game because of the Covid-19 pandemic, although the round of 16 went as planned.
Portugal is the neutral ground UEFA has chosen. And on 14 August at the Estadio Da Luz, a horror movie was played at the cinema to all football fans. Well for many of us it was definitely a comedy show.
Just four minutes into the game, Lewandoski with a touch of grace assisted Mueller for Bayern’s first goal of the night. Then Alaba restored parity for Los Cules when he riffled the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear a Jordi Alba’s square to Suarez.
Moments later Luis Suarez had a golden chance to put Barcelona ahead but Manuel Neur stood his ground firmly and that perhaps seem to be the turning point of the contest.
A second goal from Perisic, a third from Gnabry ,another one from Mueller, a lifeline from Suarez, then Kimmich, then Lewandowski and finally two finishing blows by Barcelona’s own Coutinho.
Barcelona were no where to be seen literally; Alphonso Davies bossed the left flank, Thiago and Goretzka enjoyed their game, especially the former, who pulled the strings for Bayern.
Kimmich was characteristically superb. Alaba and Boateng were not completely perfect but it didn’t matter since they were coming up against a schoolboy team. Manuel Neur didn’t have much work to do.
Gnabry and Perisic were relentless. Mueller was magnificent and Lewndowski who should have gotten a hatrick did not, but nonetheless was spectacular as always.
If Bayern’s finishing was sharper and their defending better,the full time scoreline could have been worse than the 7-0 aggregate Barcelona suffered in the hands of the Germans in 2013.
One would argue that if Luis Suarez had put Barca ahead when the game was levelled; it would have been a different outcome entirely.
But it is folly to think so. The German Club had won 26 of their previous 27 competitive games, boasts the most lethal striker in the world in Lewandowski, has the ever reliable Thomas Mueller, and generally have a hungary squad; energetic and relentless.
what does Barcelona have?; A 33 year old Lionel Messi who is obviously in decline, a blunt Luis Suarez, a tired Bousquet, a defender in Gerald Pique who does more talking off the pitch that on it and a generally disjointed squad with a confused Board at the helm.
The Spanish Giants set unwanted records last night, from being the first team to concede four goals in the first half of a Champions League knockout match, to being the first to concede seven goals in any competition since 1949 against Valencia. What if there was a return leg?
This global embarrassment was a reminder of the Blaugrana’s failures in the transfer market; With all three of their most expensive players starting on the bench- Griezmann and Dembele on Barca’s; and Coutinho on Bayern’s.
The club’s President after the defeat said decisions will be made, things will change. Quique Setien shouldn’t be the only one to leave the club, squad and board reconstruction is seriously needed.
Instead of aimlessly trying to tie 33 year old Messi to another contract, why not adopt the policies of other Clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea or Manchester United; sign young players, promote youths from the academy, inject the squad with life. I cannot stop to think of the fun Alphonso Davies had last night.
The Spanish giants will now go trophyless this season after losing the LaLiga title to Real Madrid in what has been a forgettable all round campaign for them.
The Blaugrana’s need to act fast and bounce back from this season’s humiliation. They cannot and should not continue to defame the reputation of Spanish football.
Many may not know that Barcelona have already started to fall even before the game in Portugal. Just that a Coup de grâce from Bayern Munich, made it apparent.