No sweat. No extra-pressure. No tension at all. Bayern Munich came to hunt their prey at Camp Nou and left Spain after finishing the dinner. It was the most anticipated match last night and it turned out to be an exhibition match where a bunch of schoolboys were mesmerized by the sheer brute force known as Bayern Munich.

Before last night’s clash, in all major UEFA European competitions, Barcelona have lost seven matches against Bayern Munich, three more than they have against any other side (P11 W2 D2 L7). Their two wins against Munich came in home first-leg Champions League knockout ties, 4-0 in April 2009 and 3-0 in May 2015.

Bayern made two changes to their side that hammered RB Leipzig at the weekend. Sule slotted into the back four to replace Hernandez, who dropped to the bench. Musiala got the nod ahead of Serge Gnabry in the final third, with the forward joining Hernandez on the bench.

Barcelona had not returned to action since the international break, but have made four changes to their side from their last outing against Getafe.

Antoine Griezmann and Emerson Royal had left the club in that period, while Martin Braithwaite misses out tonight due to injury. Lenglet drops to the bench to accommodate Pique and Garcia in the back three. Pedri started in the middle of the park, while Luuk de Jong partnered with Memphis Depay in the final third.

Bayern took control early on and denied Barcelona the ball, much to the chagrin of the home supporters, who are unfamiliar with seeing their team chase the opponent.

Soon enough, the German visitors broke the deadlock shortly after the half-hour mark when Thomas Muller collected a pass and with time and space, fired a shot that took a deflection off of Eric Garcia and ricocheted into goal for a 1-0 lead.

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.

It was a look he continued to wear for much of the night, as Bayern increased their stranglehold on the game.

The opener, although fortunate because of the deflection, 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.

To start the second half, Bayern continued to press Barcelona from playing out of the back, making the home side uncomfortable and further increasing the nerves inside the Camp Nou.

Barcelona were fortunate to not be down 2-0 early in the second stanza thanks to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who made a big save to deny Leroy Sane after a slick one-two combination with Lewandowski.

But Barcelona simply could not withstand the Bayern pressure and Lewandowski would make it 2-0 when a Musiala shot smacked off the post and the Polish striker was there to stab it home.

Koeman turned to his bench for some kind of answer, so youngsters Gavi and Yusuf Demir were summoned to take the place of veterans Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto. Minutes later it was Oscar Mingueza for Eric Garcia and Philippe Coutinho for Luuk de Jong.

An injury to Jordi Alba forced Koeman into his last change, with Alejandro Balde making his Barcelona first-team debut in place of the left-back.

The introduction of the young players at least brought more energy to Barcelona’s play, but the night belonged to Bayern and Lewandowski capped off the 3-0 scoreline with another strike off a ball of the post to seal Barcelona’s fate.


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 squad is not on the level of Europe’s elite, and crucially, neither is the coach.

Facebook Comments