FC Barcelona, who had their own fate in their hands yesterday when they met FC Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, couldn’t contain the pressure from the German Giant, losing 3:0 away from home.
FC Barcelona’s main mission to Germany was to get a win which guarantees them a place in the the knockout stage, where they’ll be ahead of the Portuguese team Benfica in the group ranking.
But they couldn’t achieve their aim in Munich thereby losing 3:0 and Benfica also winning their own encounter against Dynamo Kyiv, meaning that they’re now into the Europe second tier which is the Europa League knockout stage.
The newly appointed manager Xavi has expressed disappointment in Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, which sent them to the Europa League – a competition in which he thinks his side don’t belong.
But he was sincere in his acceptance of the level Barca is playing and said that the club must “start again from zero” amid their most difficult campaign in recent history.
Well it’s been long since when Barca were ousted from the Champions League this early was 2000-01, when the Europa League was still known as the UEFA Cup.
“They were better than us,” Xavi said of Bayern Munich to Movistar. “This is the reality that now faces us. We’re in the Europa League. A new era starts today.
He also added that “Barcelona don’t belong in the Europa League, they belong in the Champions League. We start again from zero.”
Before the encounter, it was certain that Benfica had a lucky counterpart, a Benfica win over Dynamo Kyiv, Barcelona needed a victory of their own against Bayern Munich in order to advance to the knockout stage.
But against a full-strength Bavarian side that had beaten them 3-0 in their prior meeting, that proved too tall of an order.
While the game goes on, on Wednesday it was hardly a surprise given the way the rest of the season has gone, it has still provided another marker of the Blaugrana’s fall this year.
Their tally of two goals after their six group-stage matches was their lowest recorded total in the Champions League, and only in 1997-98 did they concede more than the nine they surrendered in the competition this season.
It’s now time for the Spanish Giant to turn their back to the La Liga table where they’re sitted seventh there, trying to get into the top four ahead of next year’s champions league.