Barcelona to ‘begin from scratch’ after Champions League exit

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez vowed to return the Spanish giants to the head of European soccer after they crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday with a 3-Zero defeat at Bayern Munich.

5-time European champions Barca had been eradicated within the group levels for the primary time in 21 years. They’d reached the final 16 in every season since 2003-04, when they didn’t qualify for the competitors in any respect.

Objectives by Thomas Mueller and Leroy Sane gave Bayern a 2-Zero half-time cushion in falling snow on the Allianz Enviornment, which was devoid of spectators as a result of excessive numbers of Covid-19 instances in Bavaria.

Teenager Jamal Musiala grabbed Bayern’s third after the break to seal Barcelona’s destiny.

“I’m offended. I don’t like that that is our actuality now. We begin a brand new period from right here – to work laborious and get again within the Champions League,” mentioned Xavi.

Bayern, who additionally beat Barca 3-Zero on the Camp Nou when the edges met in September, had already certified for the knock-out levels as Group E winners.

They now be part of Liverpool and Ajax with an ideal six victories from six video games within the group stage.

Benfica’s 2-Zero win at house to Dynamo Kiev means Barcelona end third and drop into the Europa League.

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It was nearly eight years to the day since Bayern misplaced a house Champions League sport within the group section and the Bundesliga leaders had been in no temper to be beneficiant.

Xavi, 41, who took cost of struggling Barcelona 4 weeks in the past, has now suffered back-to-back defeats after his first loss as head coach in opposition to Actual Betis final weekend.

“We begin from scratch. Sadly, we’re within the Europa League, which isn’t the place for us,” insisted Xavi.

“We are going to work laborious to place Barcelona again in the appropriate place. We’ve many issues to right.

“We have to win the Europa League and recuperate the factors within the Spanish league.

“We’ve had some accidents, perhaps we are able to signal some extra gamers, however we begin from zero.”

Sane screamer

Bayern weren’t even at full energy.

With Joshua Kimmich quarantining after a optimistic Covid check and Leon Goretzka injured, 18-year-old Musiala performed out of place alongside Corentin Tolisso in defensive midfield.

Barcelona made a vivid begin however light after shedding Jordi Alba to harm with half an hour gone, simply earlier than Mueller headed Bayern into the lead.

Robert Lewandowski discovered house on the left of the field and flicked a cross to Mueller who claimed his 50th Champions League objective when his header looped past the attain of Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

It was a double blow to the Barca bench who had simply learnt Benfica had been 2-Zero up in opposition to Dynamo in Lisbon.

Issues went from dangerous to worse for Barca when Sane hit the online with a robust long-range shot that deceived Ter Stegen.

Sane ought to have put the consequence past doubt when Bayern attacked simply after the break.

As a substitute of tapping the ball into the empty web, he poked the ball into Ter Stegen’s grateful arms.

Alphonso Davies, who additionally ran Barcelona ragged in Bayern’s historic 8-2 drubbing within the 2020 quarter-finals, once more induced havoc down the left flank.

The quicksilver Canadian created Bayern’s third when he pulled the ball again for Musiala to faucet house from shut vary on 62 minutes.

With 20 minutes left and the competition successfully over, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann began taking off first-choice gamers.

First to go had been wingers Davies and Kingsley Coman.

Then adopted star striker Lewandowski and centre-back Niklas Suele, but nonetheless Barcelona couldn’t threaten Manuel Neuer within the Bayern objective.

After the ultimate whistle, Mueller backed Xavi to show Barcelona round.

“Whenever you take a look at the (Barcelona) staff, they’re good gamers, they’ve the whole lot they want,” mentioned Mueller.

“We all know issues aren’t going so properly behind the scenes and I had the sensation they couldn’t discover the depth they wanted, which helped our trigger.”

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