Champions League: Munich is far away for Barcelona | Sports | The USA Print


Bayern did not need Lewandowski to martyr Barça. The German superiority is not only explained by the footballers but also by the game and the character of the Munich team. The German champion is ruthless every time he meets the different versions of Barcelona. Even Lewandowski cringed at his return to the Allianz Arena. The Pole seemed like he too had played and lost a thousand times against Bayern. It was not the final point that was in Munich and that Barça needed when they dominated the game and subdued Nagelsmann’s squad. The blaugranes fought wonderfully in the open field to give in in a jiffy after a corner kick that Marcos Alonso and Ter Stegen swallowed. Koundé and Araujo weren’t right either in Sané’s 2-0 win. The two plays put an end to Barça’s optimism.



Neuer, Alphonso Davies, Lucas, Dayotchanculle Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard (Noussair Mazraoui, min. 20), Jamal Musiala (Ryan Gravenberch, min. 79), M. Sabitzer (Leon Goretzka, min. 45), Mane (Gnabry, min. 69), Joshua Kimmich, Sane (Mathys Tel, min. 79) and Müller



Ter Stegen, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Marcos Alonso, A. Christensen (Eric Garcia, min. 69), Busquets (Kessié Franck, min. 79), Pedri, Gavi (Frenkie De Jong, min. 60), Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembélé (Ansu Fati, min. 79) and Raphinha (Ferrán Torres, min. 60)

goals 1-0 min. 49: Luke. 2-0 min. 53: Heal.

Referee Danny Makkelie

Yellow cards M. Sabitzer (min. 18), Busquets (min. 47) and Joshua Kimmich (min. 73)

The azulgrana attitude was as irreproachable as it manifested was its lack of malice, craft and punch in the areas to finish off the Bayern beast. The Barcelona fans competed without fear in a game of big words, very intense and offensive, resolved the moment the Germans noticed a minute of rest and relaxation for Barça. The effectiveness made the difference after Lewandowski forgot the measurements of the Allianz goals. In any case, the game does not compromise Barcelona’s football project or the personality of Xavi’s team. The result instead forces him to defeat Inter and update Xavi’s statistics, undefeated in 17 starts, until he was trapped by Barça’s defeatist dynamic on his visits to Munich.

Accustomed to scoring goals, numerous and varied offensively, Barça expressed its respect towards Bayern with the defensive formation, the team’s most unstable line, supported by Ter Stegen. Xavi opted for expert footballers, tall and corpulent, physically willing to withstand the onslaught of the Bundesliga champion. This explains why Marcos Alonso played – he only played a quarter of an hour in Cádiz – and Koundé on the wings and that Christensen formed as central with the untouchable Araujo. Xavi was consistent in the end with his sports policy: if signings are made it is so that they play important games like the one against Allianz. There was no room for veterans (Alba or Piqué) or youngsters (Balde and Eric) and Koundé’s intimidation prevailed over the lightness of Bellerín or Sergi Roberto.

The game was therefore concentrated in the Barça area due to Xavi’s line-up and pressure from Bayern. Nagelsmann’s boys pressed and overcame the azulgrana and the ball hovered around Ter Stegen non-stop. It was difficult for Barça to get out with the ball and find the passing line and was continually exposed by the repeated losses of reliable players like Busquets. Until Pedri appeared. The man from Tenerife took the lead after Gavi took pains to steal and broke Bayern’s security system with his transitions. Both teams enjoyed attacking and suffered defensively. Although Raphinha had a hard time with the mark of Davies and Marcos with the entrances of Sané, the best opportunities were for Pedri, Raphinha and Lewandowski, surprisingly erratic against Neuer.

The goal escaped the Polish striker twice at a time when Barça brazenly mocked Bayern. The Germans then entrusted themselves to their goalkeeper, who counted up to seven shots in half an hour, also relieved by Barcelona’s lack of aim. The Barca defense settled better than the German and the match turned in favor of Xavi’s team. The referee even forgave a Davies penalty to Dembélé. The Canadian winger was a danger in both areas as Raphinha’s shots licked the posts of Neuer’s goal. Goretzka’s departure also encouraged Bayern and required an excellent intervention from Ter Stegen. However, the stoppage of the goal did not prevent the corner and the goal by Lucas Hernández to Kimmich’s center in an error in Marcos Alonso’s mark.

The central goal inflated Bayern and burst Barça. The second goal was not long in coming because Koundé and Araujo were unable to close off the skillful Sané’s entry. The match recovered from 2-0 the tone it had from 0-0. The azulgrana, much superior until the break, returned to the field and were activated in search of the goal of honor that was denied even in a shot to Pedri’s post. Despite 14 shots, there was no way Neuer could get a goal while Bayern were caught up with 10 for 2-0. Bayern is preparing to govern with a team with a future and Barça is not enough to win with a squad made for the present based on Laporta’s levers. There is no choice but to measure forces with Inter to be someone in the Champions League.

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