Barcelona failed to muster a single shot on target against Bayern Munich
They were dropped coldly and cruelly into their sad new reality by Bayern Munich, the Germans emerging with a commanding 3-0 win from Camp Nou on Tuesday night in their Champions League opener.
Barcelona lost 3-0 against Bayern
By the end, Barcelona fans were more concerned with a ball being tossed around in a stand behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s goal than the game itself. They were dropped coldly and cruelly into their sad new reality by Bayern Munich, the Germans emerging with a commanding 3-0 win from Camp Nou on Tuesday night in their Champions League opener. Barcelona failed to muster a single shot on target, a statistic that highlights the disparity between the two teams as if the scoreline alone was not enough. The hosts began the game with a point to prove, their last outing against Bayern that infamous 8-2 from a minor over a year ago. They gritted their teeth, but that can only get you so far.
The Catalan side is not on the level of Europe’s elite
There was a ‘Koeman out’ banner in one stand, taken down by the club, but it doesn’t feel like it will be a long time before it springs back up again, and more with it. The squad is not on the level of Europe’s elite, and crucially, neither is the coach. Ronald Koeman invoked Chelsea’s Champions League win last season as one of the reasons Barcelona could upset the odds, but he cannot offer half the tactical nous of Thomas Tuchel. Perhaps the scoreline was limited to three because Bayern Munich started the game in an uncharacteristically slow fashion, not quite clicking in the attack. They slowly found their rhythm and began to spend increasingly long stretches in Barcelona territory, including in the area.
After too many moves broke down just a few yards out from goal, Thomas Muller decided to try something else, and his effort from a distance flew in off Eric Garcia’s backside. It was poor defending from the Spaniard, who has had an error-strewn start to life back in Catalonia. Ter Stegen, wrong-footed by the deflection, bore a look of exasperation long before the ball hit the net. He continued to wear a watch for much of the night as Bayern increased their stranglehold on the game. Although fortunate because of the deflection, the opener saw Bayern move the ball from right to left, toying with Barcelona on a passing carousel reminiscent of the Catalans in their Pep Guardiola heyday.