“There would be the attempts by the friendly media to save the protected one and make Jose Bartomeu and Setien the scapegoat. But the reality is, no team can flourish if it emphasizes the comfort of one player rather than the betterment of the whole team. Bayern Munich taught Barcelona how to play football”

 

Dreams come true. The newly appointed coach of Barcelona Quique Setien said on February 1, 2020, he wanted to have it written on his tombstone that he won a Champions League with the Catalan Club.

Lionel Messi, the most-hyped and protected player of this era, started to think after the match against Napoli, despite being below-par, he would manage the same support against Bayern Munich at Benfica. The La Liga title might have slipped away, but the Champions League would not experience the same.

Arturo Vidal was upbeat before the clash against the Germans.

“They are playing against Barca, not against teams from the Bundesliga,”  the midfielder stated on the eve of the game in Lisbon. “They are playing against the best team in the world.”

Meanwhile, the heavyweight media houses did not even bother to highlight the strength of Bayern Munich, but consistently showed the video footage and images of Messi bringing down Jerome Boateng in 2015 on their social media pages and websites.

It seemed that it was just a matter of time, the dream of Barcelona, Messi and the over-hyped media would come true – Messi would lift the trophy even before competing for the final!

But at times, such blind people forget, nightmares are a part of dreams too!

After all the formalities, the referee blew the whistle, and immediately, Bayern were running towards the Barca goal like a pack of wolves.

It was a fantastic team move where Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller combined where Muller poked a left-footed finish across Ter Stegen and into the bottom-left corner for the opener.

Barcelona targeted Bayern’s high line and they equalized after seven minutes courtesy of an awful own goal by David Alaba.

But it did not hamper the spirit of Bayern Munich.

They kept on pressing forward.

Lewandowski sent a warning shot over and hinted, a riot was on the cards!

Sergi Roberto dithered and Serge Gnabry pounced, robbing the midfielder and releasing Perisic, who drove in a low shot with his left foot.

Leon Goretzka lifted a clever pass over the top for Gnabry, who finished confidently. After 31 minutes Kimmich joined in an attack and crossed for Müller, whose second goal of the night all but killed the game as a contest.

Barcelona were falling apart!

In the second half, Alphonso Davies surged into the area after duping Semedo. Gerard Pique froze as Davies gave Kimmich an open goal.

44 years had passed since the last time Barcelona had conceded five in a single European clash, when they went down 5-4 to Levski Sofia in March 1976 in the UEFA Cup.

Well, the demolition and humiliation were not over yet!

With 17 minutes Hansi Flick introduced Philippe Coutinho, who was loaned to Bayern from Barcelona. Coutinho came and discovered his magical touch.

He dribbled past the Barca players and created the goal for Lewandowski and then added two more to his name and gave a fitting reply to the insult he digested at Camp Nou.

Yet another historic worst was thus recorded, with Barca conceding eight goals in a single match for the first time since 1946 when Sevilla inflicted an 8-0 thrashing on the Catalans in the Copa del Rey.

The highly anticipated tie quickly turned into a nightmare thanks to their own weaknesses in defence and Bayern’s brilliant forward play.

There would be attempts by the friendly media to save the protected one and make Jose Bartomeu and Setien the scapegoat. But the reality is, no team can flourish if it emphasizes the comfort of one player rather than the betterment of the whole team.

Bayern Munich taught Barcelona how to play football.

Football is a team game and results cannot be achieved by following the orders of a so-called cult figure.

This humiliation should be a big learning curve for Barcelona and to build the future, they need to think beyond Messi.