The Catalan club could have booked their spot in the knockout stage of the competition on Tuesday night, but they failed to beat Benfica at Camp Nou.
Xavi’s first European game as manager was an incredibly entertaining 0-0 draw, with both sides having chances to win the match late on.
Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo even had a goal disallowed for offside in the final 10 minutes, VAR confirming that the decision from the linesman was indeed the correct one.
Then in stoppage-time, Benfica had a golden opportunity to secure all three points and take a giant step towards qualification for the last-16.
The Portuguese outfit broke on the counter and were presented with a two-on-one situation.
Darwin Nunez made the most of Barcelona’s lack of numbers at the back by finding substitute Haris Seferovic in acres of space near the goal.
The Switzerland striker then did the hard part by lifting the ball over the onrushing Marc-Andre ter Stegen, leaving him with an open net to shoot at.
But instead of breaking the hearts of the rain-soaked Barcelona fans in the stadium and the rest around the world, Seferovic inexplicably toe-poked the ball wide from a few yards out.
Jorge Jesus’ reaction on the touchline said it all…
Video: Seferovic produces the miss of 2021 so far vs Barcelona
The phrase ‘it looked easier to score’ is a bit too commonplace these days for our liking, but it’s certainly applicable to Seferovic’s gaffe in Catalonia.
His miss now means that Barcelona still control their own fate in the Champions League.
If Xavi’s young side can beat group winners Bayern Munich in Bavaria in a couple of weeks time, they will progress to the next stage, regardless of Benfica’s result against Dynamo Kyiv the same evening.
It’s certainly a tall order for Barcelona, but the important things are that they still have a chance and currently sit two points clear in second-place.
And if they keep ahold of the runner-up spot, Seferovic may want to keep his head down in Benfica training for a week or so…