Bayern Munich 2-0 Barcelona
Unlike previous meetings with Bayern Munich, Barcelona suffered no humiliation at their hands. The margin between the two teams has closed, but ultimately Barcelona once again find themselves analysing which mistakes led to defeat against the Bavarians.
Perhaps the biggest frustration will be the knowledge that they perfectly could have taken something from the game. In the opening minutes Pedri cut onto his left in the box and forced a save from Manuel Neuer. In an intense game, flowing this way and that, there were mistakes and brilliance in equal measures. Both teams pushed each other. The difference was that Bayern looked a little uncertain when they arrived at the box, whereas Barcelona lacked the definition for their moves. Raphinha flashed a couple of shots wide but surprisingly it was Robert Lewandowski who missed two or three clear openings that until now he has been burying.
The second half opened with another Raphinha effort whipped wide, but Barcelona were not to be forgiven this time. Leon Goretzka’s effort from distance was saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but he could do nothing when Marcos Alonso lost Lucas Hernandez from the resulting corner. Less than three minutes had passed before Jamal Musiala’s good work gave Leroy Sane the chance to run at the central defenders. Through the closing gap he dashed, rolling the ball around ter Stegen.
Somewhat shell-shocked, Barcelona felt their way back into the game but there was something of futile feeling about it all. Bayern streamed forward on the counter – the Bavarians had returned to their indecisive nature for the final pass. Pedri and Lewandowski once again had openings, but no belief they could score from them.
And so the game played out. When they review the match, Barcelona will rue their own profligacy. It wasn’t a question of quality or a poor game plan, they lacked the cold, steely mindset required for execution in the Champions League. Their next two matches come against Inter, where their group stage fate will likely be decided.