Anticipation was high for FC Barcelona's start to their Champions League campaign as they hosted Bayern Munich for the opening matchday. Considering their previous encounter, this fixture demanded a lot, especially from the Barcelonistes trying to prevent another catastrophic defeat against the Bavarians.
Furthermore, tensions were high around Camp Nou for two very distinct reasons. The first was the shortage of Lionel Messi in the Barcelona squad for such an intense game. The second one was about the strangely timed outrageous comments that the Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman made a few days earlier.
Koeman's provoking statements did not fare well with the Culers. Calling out Barcelona President Joan Laporta as unwise and later proclaiming his contribution with arrogant remarks has not resonated well with the supporters.
In the end, it turned out to be a less painful affair as Bayern Munich won the game quite comfortably, but not with an atrocious scoreline like last time. A 3-0 victory for the Bundesliga side makes them sit on top of Group E of the Champions League. A Thomas Muller strike followed by a brace from Robert Lewandowski was enough to complete the job. Barcelona has to regroup and find its niche against other sides to progress beyond the group stages.
Barcelona manager explains the loss
After the clash, Ronald Koeman expressed his fresh thoughts about the game. He highlighted that there is a difference in quality between the two sides. Until that gets minimally reduced, there is nothing to complain about from results like this. He said:
"There were only three strikers available, tactically there were moments in which we were in control. Bayern's game is in the middle third and you have to fill [the gaps] there. It is what it is for the time being. I cannot complain about the attitude, but there is a difference in quality. [Bayern are] a team that as a group have been together for a long time and also have a bench that has improved."
The Barcelona boss is hopeful that things will get significantly better once the players, who are missing due to ailments, recover. Some of his main stars, like Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati, missed the game. Koeman expressed that he expected an underwhelming result as players in his lineup were playing out of position. He stated the example of Sergi Roberto - who was outmatched by playing as a winger against a lightning-quick Alphonso Davies.
"We have many young players who in two or three years will be better. It is very difficult to accept it, but we have to wait for things to improve and players to recover from their injuries. It is what it is, we have to spend a few weeks like this because later we are going to get players like [Sergio] Aguero, [Ousmane] Dembele and Ansu Fati back."
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