Bayern Munich 4 FC Barcelona 0

bayern munich 4-0 barcelona 1-0Four years after a memorable 4-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich the tables were turned tonight as Barça were destroyed by the same score at the Allianz Arena. There is still a second leg at Camp Nou next week but few will give Barça a hope of returning to Wembley for another final after tonight’s result. 

Leo Messi was declared fit before the game and Tito Vilanova opted for an XI of Valdés, Alves, Bartrá, Piqué, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi and Alexis. The idea of playing Pedro and Alexis was because of their work-rate though Barça seemed more concerned with stopping Bayern than in looking for an important away goal.

From the start Barça looked to control possession and in this respect the team was reasonably successful. However, with Messi dropping deep and Alexis and Pedro occupied with tracking Lahm and Alaba there was very little threat on the German goal. Bayern played more vertically and despite not seeing much of the ball early on they created much more danger. After just two minutes Javi Martinez burst into the right side of the penalty area before rolling the ball back to Robben whose low toe-poke was saved by Valdés.

There was little reaction from Barça. The team worked hard to keep possession though Xavi and Iniesta were always controlled well by Schweinsteiger and Martinez while Messi found it hard to get involved and looked a long way from being at 100%. There was one chance from a Xavi corner but the freshly shaved head of Piqué sent the ball wide of the far post.

The Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai will have pleased few with his decisions tonight. In the 15th minute he failed to see a handball from Piqué after Lahm’s shot as Bayern began to push further forward. Corners were always likely to be a problem for Barça and the fact that Bayern won eight in the first 40 minutes was a clear sign of the pressure on Valdés’s goal. In the 25th minute Ribery took a corner from the left, Robben clipped the ball on to Muller who held the ball up before laying the ball back to Robben to cross from the right, Dante rose above Alves and headed the ball back across goal for Muller running in to head home via Valdés’s legs. A foul on Alves? Probably. Could Valdés have done more? Yes. But the goal stood and Barça got worse from here on.

bayern munich 4-0 barcelona pedroThere was only one moment of danger on Neuer’s goal in what remained of the first half but Dante just managed to get his toe onto Pedro’s cross to knock the ball away from the lurking Messi. Bayern had another shout for a penalty after Dante flicked on another corner and the ball struck Alexis’s hand but the referee ignored the Germans’ appeal. Barça arrived to half time relieved to be only one goal down but the second half would prove to be a nightmare.

There was hope at the start of the second period when Martinez was booked for repetitive fouls on Iniesta. However, Don Andrés had a game to forget and Martinez continued to win their personal battle. In the 49th minute Martinez got forward again only to be denied by Bartrá getting back to clear. However, from the resulting corner Robben crossed to the far post where Alves was again beaten in the air by Muller who headed the ball back to where Gomez hooked the ball in from close range. Again Barça could feel hard done by as Gomez was clearly offside but the 2-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the two teams’ merits.

Bayern were now rampant. Robben set up Ribery for another chance but the Frenchman fired wired, then soon after Robben rose above Alba to head Schweinsteiger’s free kick wide. The reaction from Barça was timid. A cross from Alves followed soon after by one from Alba but both were cut out by Neuer. Messi continued to play very little part, managing just one run into the area which won a corner. From Xavi’s kick Alexis knocked the ball down to Bartrá who couldn’t get any power on his shot and Neuer made an easy save.

The need for an away goal was clear. Pedro had moved to the left in the second half and in the 72nd minute he got past Lahm and crossed but Piqué couldn’t get on the end of it. Bayern went straight up the other end, Ribery found Schweinsteiger who played the ball onto Robben on the right and the Dutchman went past Alba, with the help of a clear foul from Muller on Alba, and snuck the ball past Valdés, who got a slight touch, and inside the far post.

An away goal would still have given Barça plenty to play for in the second leg but unfortunately the best Barça chance again fell to Bartrá who, receiving the ball with his back to the goal, couldn’t decide which way to turn and eventually sent his shot well wide. Bayern came close again after Muller got past Alba and Piqué with Valdés coming to the rescue, the ball came out to Schweinsteiger who managed to injure Alves while knocking the ball on to Ribery whose shot was blocked by Piqué.

With Alves off the pitch Bayern attacked down their left side. Schweinsteiger found Ribery who played the ball onto the overlapping Alaba whose cross was bundled home gleefully by Muller. There was ten minutes still to play but Barça were finished already. The overall frustration was summed up with Alba receiving a stupid yellow card for tossing the ball at Robben’s face.

For Barça there will be many questions to answer after this performance. It is true that the first three goals could all have been disallowed but there could also have been two first half penalties awarded for the handballs from Piqué and Alexis. It is also true that both Busquets and Messi were returning after injury and both players looked a long long way from their best. However, the truth is that Bayern were physically far superior, a fact that was demonstrated by the 112,846 metres covered by Bayern compared to 106,577 run by Barça. Whether this comes down to a question of fitness or a question of desire it is difficult to say though it is probably a mixture of the two things.

Some will no doubt call this the end of an era though with players like Messi, Iniesta, Piqué, Busquets and Alba, however poorly they may have played tonight, we have the core of Barça’s team for the next five years at least. The problem, however, is perhaps the result of so much continued success and for players who are so used to playing finals and semi-finals it is difficult to continue to raise their game. We should take nothing away from Bayern who showed what an excellent team they are, and Guardiola will have few problems to achieve more success with these players. For Barça the saddest thing was the lack of fight shown in the last twenty minutes when an away goal could have changed everything. The lack of reaction from Vilanova was also worrying. No shouting to animate the players and no substitutions except for the late introduction of Villa. Sometimes you just have to accept that the other team has been superior but tonight we let ourselves down by not competing as we should have.

Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Muller (Pizarro m83), Ribery (Shaqiri m88); Gomez (Luis Gustavo m71).

Barça: Valdés 5.5; Alves 5.5, Bartrá 5, Piqué 5, Alba 4.5; Xavi 5, Busquets 4.5, Iniesta 5; Pedro 5.5 (Villa m83, –), Messi 4.5, Alexis 5.5.

Goals: m25 Muller 1-0, m49 Gomez 2-0, m73 Robben 3-0, m82 Muller 4-0.

Yellow cards: m37 Gomez, m39 Bartrá, m46 Javi Martinez, m86 Alexis, m87 Schweinsteiger, m89 Alba, m92 Iniesta.

Allianz Arena 68,000

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23 Responses to Bayern Munich 4 FC Barcelona 0

  1. ewe_gb says:

    so that was a major battering, it even was a lesson that barca get taught by bayern today. actually, barca would need a new management – zubizaretta is not up to the job – plus a president who understands a little bit of football besides finances and marketing.

    this can be a wake-up call, but will the stubborn barca president, management and yes even the coaching team understand it? will it understand that today’s defeat is the result of a history of wrong transfer priorities reaching back to pep?

    every and each team knows how to play barca. the “only” thing you need to do, is to counter and go for set-pieces.

    the next thing to do is to annihilate messi which was easy tonight because he is a lot of things but not fit!

    and to continue: tito and his coaching team has a horrible record against the big teams in this season – real, milan, psg and tonight bayern. there was only one convincing game and that was against milan at the camp nou.

    tonight the coaching team was clueless and tactically outplayed.

    the team was tired, not running enough, not fighting enough and did not have enough quality to compete with bayern.

    but will barca learn the lesson?

    will it invest in center backs: very good ones?

    will it invest in a mobile, physical, technical versatile striker like lewandowski?

    I somehow doubt it because also the players don’t seem to understand that you sometimes might need a plan b, a more balanced physical squad and so on.

  2. Caleb says:

    I thought Alves had a good game.

    I was sad that we didn’t press like that Milan game. It’s a real problem that our relentless pressing has been an exception rather than a rule the last couple seasons.

    Barça have more quality than Bayern. That much is obvious. Bayern showed much more desire. Equally obvious.

    A lot of loose passes from Messi, Pedro, and Busi. Busi has not been covering the back four well as of late. Even though he is slow, usually he reads the game so well as to be in the right place at the right time. He hasn’t been doing that lately and our already frail defense suffers for it.

    The only time Bayern really scared me were on set pieces—these scare me no matter who the opponent—and when Robben or Ribéry were running at Pique or Bartra.

    In open play we are still much “better,” but don’t seem to have enough desire to actually go out and score.

    Given the illegal nature of 3 of the goals (plus Alves being off the field in a play that should have earned Schweinsteiger a yellow—not sure he should have finished the game—for the forth goal), I wasn’t that worried about Barça’s conceding so many.

    I’m very worried about us failing to score or create any clear-cut chances for any of our normal scorers. I’ll forgive Bartra for his wayward shot—he definitely didn’t put in a terrible showing for his first big game.

  3. stilllovebarca says:

    I was talking with some people about this game and we all agreed – it’s a testament to Barca’s recent success that essentially winning La Liga and bowing out of the semi-finals of the CL = failure in some form. It really is interesting to look at this result from that perspective, but having said that I think there are things that need to change. The first area to address is acquiring defenders. That has been a serious area of concern all season and frankly the last few seasons in general. If the next season or two is focused on rebuilding I’d be fine with that! It will also be interesting to see what happens with Madrid. If Ronaldo or Mourinho (or both) leave then even a Barca focused more on rebuilding and redefining some areas of their playing philosophy should still probably be able to do extremely well domestically.

    Tough result tonight but you can’t win em all.

    • Caleb says:

      A huge part of our defensive woes has to be down to our laziness when it comes to pressing, too, right?

      As I see it, our “defense” has more to do recently because our offense isn’t our first line of defense anymore. I agree that we need to invest some in defense . . . we also need to get back to intense pressing.

  4. barcacentralomer says:

    The most disappointing thing for me was that Barca failed to score a single goal against a team who are not renowned for being a solid defensive side. Messi was similar to the Messi we saw in the CL semis against Chelski last year – more of a spectator than the world’s best player who has enthralled us with his wizardry in recent years. I was a bit apprehensive when Messi was named in the starting XI because I believe it was another instance of Messi’s reputation preceding rational decision making by the Barca management and/or the player. As a player I think one should be willing to step aside if one isn’t physically fit. As much as he wanted to play Messi should have let the management know that physically he wasn’t upto it. The reluctance to chane things around when things aren’t going your way and the introduction of an ineffective Villa as the only substitute tells us the Barca thinktank is short of ideas when the going gets tough or perhaps we didn’t learn anything from our mistakes against Milan and PSG.

    While there is a lot of criticism of our defence, I think it was unrealistic to expect an inexperienced CB and an overrated CB (IMO) to come out on top against one of the in-form European sides on their home turf. Barca have never been renowned for their defence anyway and like Caleb said, I believe the first line of defence is your forward line which is where we have a major problem. We are too reliant on Messi and our reluctance to go for a Plan B means when we don’t have the world’s best player in form, the rest of the forwards/wingers seem to be lost and disjointed. I’m not sure I agree our management believes Cesc can slot in as the false No 9 against the big teams because they didn’t try that yesterday.

    As much as the referee deserves criticism, anyone who saw the match knows only one team deserved to win it and perhaps we’re lucky we didn’t concede even more goals. While a lot of people like me have been going on and on about our CB position for a couple of seasons, I think the Barca forward line needs a rethink during the summer as well.

    @Nic: I don’t know if this match heralds the end of an era but I’m a bit worried about the current Pique being at Barca for a number of years. He might remain at Barca because he’s Catalan but I don’t think he’s the Pique of 2011. He’s no longer one of the best CBs in the world IMO which he was a couple of years back. Maybe we need to buy more than one world class CB during the summer. Busquets too was supposed to raise his game with the arrival of Song but that hasn’t happened. I don’t know if he has gotten slower or like someone said, his reading of the game has been all over the place in certain key matches meaning he looks out of his league against the swift counterattacks. Again I think being Catalan will probably buy him more time to rectify his mistakes because Song hasn’t turned into Yaya Toure either.

  5. LuisG says:

    Barca 2013 is much weaker than Barca 2009 that demolished Bayern 2009 with ridiculous ease, and Bayern 2013 is much stronger than Bayern 2009. In 2009 Barca had world class stikers in Henry, Eto’o and Messi, and a Xavi at his peak. Now they have only the great Messi, and the useless Sanchez, Vila and Pedro, and an old Xavi. In 2009 Barca had top class defenders in Abidal, Puyol, now they have Alba who does not not know the meaning of defending, a very poor Pique, and no proper CB to replace Puyol. In 2009 Barca also had Yaya, who added physical stability to the team and allowed Xavi and Iniesta to play their game. Now Barca is obvioulsy too dependent on Messi. They still play good football, but without the pressing of Pep’s Barca. They have a coach who cannot adjust the team’s tactics and still have faith in ordinary players like Sanchez. Against Bayern Tito should have played Song alongside Busquets, and remove Sanchez. Yesterday showed that Tito is no Pep and just an ordinary coach.

    This Barca 2013 is like Barca 1994 – they play good passing game, but are physically and defensively very weak, and Bayern thrashed them like Milan thrashed them in 1994, both with ridiculous ease. There is no way Barca are going to turn the tie around, as Bayern will obviously score in Camp Nou. Big change needed in order to reconquer Europe. Barca still have an excellent foundation. A GK, a CB, a DM and a good striker like Falcao will put Barca back to No.1 team. Now they are just an excellent team with a badly handicapped defense and stubborn coaching staffs.

  6. I should have seen that match. However I could not receive it. So, was it worth to watch it?

  7. John Sewell says:

    Listen up fellow Barca fans – although we cannot get away from the fact that this was a hugely disappointing result, if you analyse the game, Bayern had the centre of the pitch deliberately watered to stem FCB’s passsing game, Bayern’s second goal was blatantly offside (the TV replay showed that the linesman was not level with the last defender) and Jordi Alba was deliberately body checked to stop him getting to the ball just before the third goal went in (everybody saw it apart from the officials who were standing two yards away). So, you will see that, in my opinion FCB were beaten by an inferior team and sub-standard officials. A 0-2 scoreline would have been far easier to overturn, but who knows, anything is possible in football………………………………….

    • barcacentralomer says:

      John while I agree that the second goal was harsh and the third was debatable, we shouldn’t forget that we could have had 2 penalties given against us for handball. So while the officials didn’t perform to their best, it sort of evens out over the match IMO. Bayern simply outclassed us in every aspect of the game last night.

  8. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Here are a few questions for all of us to really focus on
    1) What was Messi doing on the pitch? Jogging? Having a stroll? stretching?

    2) In regards of question 1, WHY DID WE FIELD an unfit Messi and stick with him through out 90 minutes even when he clearly is unfit or is still half injured? Did we actually plan to go to Munich and play with 10 players instead of 11?

    3) Pique and Bartra. Doesn’t anybody in here feel that these 2 cbs should have played atleast 45 minutes in our last league game before this clash to improve understanding and teamwork between them before such an important clash, the fullbacks and the KEEPER.

    4) WHY THE HECK IS ALEXIS IN THE STARTING LINE-UP?

    5) How The Heck Does David Villa suddenly look very off the pace when he hardly played the first half of the season. How come he looks absolutely jaded lately? Is the fitness coach doing his job?? Or is this down to his own discipline?

    6) Busquets and Xavi. Were their physical appearance clonned before this game? Because I don’t almost coudn’t recognize them in a footballing sense. They seemed half injured as well.

    7) Did we even have a game plan before this match? Or we thought Bayern were just another Levante perhaps?

    • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

      8) Being a father has taken a huge toll on the performance of Iniesta in the last 2 matches. No? Is he suffering from a lack of rest?

  9. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    3) Pique and Bartra. Doesn’t anybody in here feel that these 2 cbs should have played atleast 45 minutes in our last league game before this clash to improve understanding and teamwork between them , the fullbacks and the KEEPER……..before such an important clash

  10. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Why do we seemed so rusty rather than jaded? Uninterested rather than off form? The only players that possibly tried was Pedro, Alves, Valdes and nobody else

  11. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Messi is great and all. He maybe our best ever player. But I have lost half of my respect for him after this match. He let me down, not because he couldn’t score,,,….BUT MAINLY BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE THE DECENCY TO ASK TO BE SUBBED OF EVEN WHEN HE HIMSELF KNEW HE WASN’T CONTRIBUTING SHIT due to his injury.

  12. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    If there’s anything we would and should be doing during the transfer window, it will and should be
    1) Sell Alexis Sanchez
    2) Sell David Villa if there’s a buyer (He is not getting any younger)
    3) Buy the want out Robert Lewandowski
    4) Buy either one of Mats Hummels, Thiago Silva, Kompany, Giorgio Chiellini or Jan Vertonghen instead of Neymar

  13. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    We could be possibly spending 75 M in the transfer market….but if we managed to sell Villa and Alexis for 30M, our losses are reduced to 45M. As for keeper, i’ll settle for Pinto for a season. and purchase another keeper in the following year.

  14. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    To play at such horrible standards in such a crucial part of the season vs such a fantastic team like Bayern is a huge disgrace. We let ourselves down when it it mattered. We were well and truly outclassed last night!

  15. bc9jaCule says:

    Alas! It turned out that we didn’t TURN UP as I stressed in the preview, what with an evidently-much-less-than-100% Messi. Of course, controversies surround their first 3 goals but there is no denying that Bayern thoroughly deserved their victory – except not as much as by a 4-goal margin, maybe a 2-0 would have been ideal & much more respectable. Our WEAK defence was brutally exposed & our attack was just STARKLY BLUNT. Anyways, sh*t happens & that’s in the past now.

    Someway, somehow, I just hope we can pull off a gigantic & monumental comeback of unbelievable proportions. It’s very difficult but I’ll NEVER doubt this Barca & after all they’ve done over & over for several years now, IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING. And even if they don’t make it, it’s all good & that will make me even appreciate the Laliga trophy even more.

    In all terrains – win, draw or lose – , I breathe the Blaugrana.

    Visca Barca!!!!!
    Forca Barca!!!!!

    • Yoho says:

      A comeback is only possible if Sanchez does not play, and the stubborn coach recognizes its mistakes. The most complicated task is to not concede, which is only possible if a fit Abidal plays, because right now Barca defense is an absolute joke. But at least Barca must show that it was an accident and try to win convincingly. If defense still perform like amateurs, then it will surely be another DynamoKiev1997.

  16. JOSEPH ESSIEN says:

    prayer should now know the important of a good goad and learn how respect smbody who lead them nor matter thier names. I hate a dump coach who dosen’t know how make changes when a situation warrant

  17. layibiyi says:

    I suddenly stopped getting the blog-posts delivered to my email. Probably a good time, yeah?. Anyways, I have re-subscribed to the blog again.

    About the game, not much to say at this point i guess. Caleb’s first post summarizes most of my thoughts.

    Another funny thing is that I think Barca was actually setup to just focus on conceding the minimum amount of goals. Getting an away goal was not high on the agenda. Despite this, we still conceded 4. That’s credit to the strength of Bayern and shows how nervy we were knowing the kind of defence we were taking to Munich to face such a powerful team. Bayern forced the issue and 8 corner kicks in 40 minutes was just too much for such a deficient defence. Then, there were the lucky breaks. We could have escaped with a better result but I think we have used up almost all of our chances of ‘escapes’ in recent years.

    Even in hindsight, I still dont know how else we could have gone about the game, look for a 2-5 scoreline? start Song in a double pivot and finally change system for the first time in years? etc

    Looking forward, I don’t have much worries. So far we are aware of our ‘problems’ and we look to improve. Nobody reigns forever.

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