Bayern Munich thoroughly outclassed an abject Barcelona to run out comfortable 3-0 winners in their Champions League clash at Camp Nou, aided by a Robert Lewandowski brace.
The Bavarian giants were in complete control from start to finish, dominating possession to teach Barça an embarrassing lesson on their own patch.
Bayern weren’t even that good, but they had more than enough in the tank once Thomas Muller had opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark. Gifted far too much on the edge of the penalty area, the German’s shot took a wicked deflection to give Marc-Andre ter Stegen no chance in goal.
Barcelona had Luuk de Jong partnering Memphis Depay up front, but he may as well have not been playing – the Catalan giants didn’t even muster a shot on target during the 90 minutes.
The second period delivered Lewandowski’s customary goals, both of them demonstrating the Pole’s predatory instincts and insatiable appetite for goals. First, he poked home after the supremely impressive Jamal Musiala had rattled the post, before he repeated the trick with just under ten minutes to go – this time after Gnabry had struck the woodwork.
It’s a long road back for Barcelona, and on this display, it’s going to be a long road just to get out of the group stages – this their first defeat in their opening game for 24 years.
Here’s how both sides rated on the night…
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Made some superb saves from Sane, one in the first half and also from close quarters in the second. A star in a very ordinary side.
Ronald Araujo (CB) – 7/10 – Confident and composed, Araujo was first to a number of balls and his defensive positioning was generally very good. The standout performer.
Gerard Pique (CB) – 5/10 – Should have closed Muller down before he could his strike away on goal and just doesn’t have any kind of turning circle these days.
Eric Garcia (CB) – 5/10 – Struggled at times with Bayern’s movement but did well to at least limit the number of clear-cut chances.
Sergi Roberto (RWB) – 4/10 – Barely involved and certainly not in an attacking sense. Subbed once Barça went 2-0 down.
Sergio Busquets (DM) – 5/10 – The legendary Spaniard is knocking on a bit and it showed here. Overrun and unsurprisingly hooked before the hour.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 6/10 – Wanted to push forward and drive on with the ball, problem was he barely had it. Not the stellar Barcelona team he dreamed of joining.
Pedri (CM) – 5/10 – A rather ineffectual display from Pedri which isn’t something we’ve become accustomed to saying. The fact he’s played 7,183,901 matches in a calendar year hasn’t helped.
Jordi Alba (LWB) – 5/10 – This Barcelona side needs senior players to stand up and lead by example, the trouble for Alba was being outclassed throughout. Hampered by a niggle, admittedly.
Luuk de Jong (FW) – 3/10 – He’s just not a Barcelona calibre player, is he? Too slow, too lethargic and most definitely not Lionel Messi.
Memphis Depay (FW) – 5/10 – Was brighter than his strike partner but this was far from Memphis’ best.
Gavi (CM) – 6/10 – Fresh faced and potentially the future of Barcelona, Gavi offered a bit of positivity after replacing Busquets. However, could – and possibly should – have been sent off.
Yusif Demir (RW) – 5/10 – Tried to add some fresh impetus on the right wing but Bayern had things completely under control.
Philippe Coutinho (LW) – 6/10 – At least tried to make something happen, curling a couple of efforts over the bar.
Oscar Mingueza (CB) – 5/10
Alejandro Balde (LB) – N/A
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 6/10 – Had absolutely nothing to do all evening. A quite surreal experience playing at Camp Nou.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 7/10 – Was barely put under pressure defensively as Alba dare not venture forward. Hooked with 25 minutes to go.
Dayot Upamecano (CB) – 7/10 – Marked De Jong out of the game easily and had Sule alongside him to nullify the threat of Memphis. Booked late on for a clumsy tackle.
Niklas Sule (CB) – 6/10 – Switched to right-back after a solid hour in central defence, where he was posed a few more problems by Coutinho and a drifting Memphis.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 6/10 – Didn’t need to be at his blistering best, yet Davies did cause problems when venturing forward.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 7/10 – It’s a real joy to watch Kimmich spray the ball around. Even more impressive when you see how effortlessly the German does it.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 7/10 – Ran the midfield show with ease, combining pace, power and precision.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 7/10 – Scored his seventh goal against Barcelona in Champions League competition, the most that any player has individually scored against the Catalan giants.
Jamal Musiala (RW) – 8/10 – Utterly brilliant. The future of Bayern is exceptionally bright with a talented teenager who wasn’t afraid to take on, and beat, Barcelona’s defence at will.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 8/10 – As is customary, Lewandowski sniffed out at a couple of goals, showing a real poachers instinct to score for an 18th consecutive game. Just incredible.
Leroy Sane (LW) – 7/10 – Drifted in off the left flank to overload centrally and allow Davies to charge down the wing. May feel he should have scored but was bright enough.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – 6/10 – Had very little to do when he came on. Coasting.
Serge Gnabry (RW) – 6/10 – Hit the post from an acute angle late on, but saw Lewandowski mop up.
Marcel Sabitzer (AM) – N/A
Kingsley Coman (LW) – N/A
Josip Stanisic (RB) – N/A