It was an all too familiar feeling for Barcelona as they fell to another defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last night. No team has inflicted more losses on them in the Champions League than the Bavarians, their eight victories double that of others like Milan or Liverpool.
In spite of the loss though, the Barcelona dressing room were encouraged by the performance. Ivan San Antonio of Sport used his links to the Barcelona players to establish that aside from the result, Barcelona’s players were of the opinion that ‘the feelings were very good, very, very good.’
They believe that they ‘played the game they wanted to play’ against Bayern and even if they were eventually defeated, they are confident of reversing the result when Bayern visit Camp Nou.
There was some self-criticism though. Certainly the coaching staff believed that there were some basic errors due to a lack of savvy. In certain situations, tactical fouls should have been made. Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha were also accused of losing the ball in the wrong areas of the pitch, as in, central zones rather than one-on-one battles.
The obvious flaw was a lack of clinical finishing too. Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann pointed that out in his press conference and his Barcelona counterpart, Xavi Hernandez, was frustrated. He also agreed that it was a good performance, but that it was meaningless without victory.
While a good performance may be sufficient at this point in Barcelona’s development, it should be noted that the areas in which Barcelona, game savvy and composure, are perhaps the hardest to improve.