Barcelona have had some major lows in the Champions League over the last few years.
From blowing a three-goal advantage against Roma in the quarter-finals in 2018, to then doing the same thing away at Liverpool the following year, before arguably their worst humiliation of the lot when they lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich in 2020, it has not been a competition that has been kind to them lately.
Fast forward to 2021, and things have not got any better. In fact, they’ve got even worse.
On Wednesday night, the Spanish giants travelled to Bayern knowing that only a win would guarantee them a place in the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition. They never came close to getting the result they needed.
The German champions swatted them aside 3-0 at the Allianz Arena, and with Benfica beating Dynamo Kyiv in the other game in the group, Barcelona’s fate was sealed. They will now be playing Europa League football after Christmas.
Thomas Muller got on the scoresheet for the hosts to improve his already impressive record against Barcelona, and he did not just hurt them on the pitch.
Speaking after the game, the World Cup winner delivered an honest assessment of where things have gone wrong for Barcelona this season, and he did not hold back!
“They can’t keep up with the intensity that currently prevails in top-class football. We took advantage of that”, he told reporters.
Muller’s words will sting Barcelona’s players and fans. This is a team that won the Champions League three times in six years between 2009 and 2015, playing some of the finest football that we have ever witnessed.
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Right now, though, they are a long way off that level, and the gap between themselves and the best sides on the continent only seems to be widening.
Muller can clearly see that is the case, and Wednesday’s clash was just another harsh reminder of how a once world-beating club have fallen away so badly in recent times.
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