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  • Updated: August 15, 2020

Barca vs Bayern: An Emphatic 8-2 Defeat Is The End Of An Era

Barca vs Bayern: An Emphatic 8-2 Defeat Is The End Of An Era

Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 8-2 in Portugal on Friday night to progress into the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League. This is the first time in 75 years that Barcelona lost by 8 goals in any match.

The match was the icing on the cake, a 'bitter cake' which has been obvious in Barcelona for almost 3 years now. The team, Barcelona has been very weak for the last few years. Showing their weakness in front of goal, in the middle of the pack, little creativity, less power, less drive, and most importantly no hunger going into the opposition final third.

The Barcelona of "tiki-taka" is gone, I mean long gone. The team that played against Bayern was not the Blaugrana that we know they are just a group of players wearing the Barcelona jersey and are paid considerably the highest wage bills in Europe.

READ ALSO: La Liga: Barcelona Falling Apart Or Wrong Personnel?

Every moment in the game when Bayern gets the ball, they look like scoring, every moment Barcelona is in possession of the ball, it looked like Bayern will dispossess them of the ball. The Bayern full-back, Alphonso Davies, and Kimmich were playing a very high line and not even trackback at all, yet there was no threat at all. The second Barcelona goal showed how much Bayern was vulnerable. There were loopholes in Bayern's final third but Barcelona was too focused on preventing a goal to be able to attack.

The match helped put to bed that the team needs to be rebuilt. The defeat at Roma showed a glimpse of that but because it was the first time it seemed like a moment of weakness but the Liverpool defeat simply showed to all clubs around the World that Barcelona is almost dead. Looking at the way teams in La Liga played Barcelona in the 2019-20 season, there was no respect for them, Eibar played Barcelona like they were playing Granda, or Mallorca, even when we win matches we see the suffering we had gone through. 

The only good part of the defeat which seems like a blessing in disguise was the coronavirus prevented the match from being played at Camp Nou, because if this defeat was at Cam Nou, then maybe the President will have to retire. Barcelona uses the motto "Més que un club" which means more than a club, Barcelona is the face of Catalonia. It was a huge loss.

Defensive Blunders

Three goals out of the goals scored by Bayern were defensive blunders by defenders or incomplete passes from Goalkeeper to defenders, which speaks little about the Barcelona DNA; the ability to pass and keep the ball from the opponents while hurting them. The DNA is long gone, whenever Barcelona kick the ball in that match and in previous ones, they had kept the ball for the opposition and even hurt themselves in the process.

Barcelona was playing against a team playing a very high line, centre backs are seen in opposition box even without set pieces, full-backs were high up the pitch, to play from the back will only hurt them, well that was what happened.

The Bayern offensive players dispossessed them off the ball and scored, they were doing the passing for them, all they needed to do was exchange a lovely one-touch pass and finish.

Midfielders were Outmatched

Barcelona was a team who plays well from the middle of the pack using then Iniesta and Xavi with Bousquet to hold the ball. From the time immemorial Barcelona has been a team weak in defence, usually, when launched counter-attacks against them you put them into trouble even back then in the Golden Era.

Puyol was the backbone and even then, he sometimes can not hold when strong counter-attacking teams face them. The evolution of football has changed with almost every players capable of running well, properly fit, so even when you keep the possession all that is needed is a wrong misplaced pass and you are trouble.

Even more obvious is that, Barcelona do not have those midfielders anymore. Bousquet is old and can only conjure more some magical once in a while, Vidal is not that kind of player, Frenkie De Jong is great and talented but he has not understood such playing styles yet, Rakitic is old too and he had never been that kind of player. Sergio Roberto is not even a consistent midfielder; his versatility affects his creativity.

When you come up against a very strong deep-lying midfield such as Bayern Munich in their present form, they will dismantle you. All these problems have been happening just that the popularity of this game, the stage and the emphatic defeat mad it more obvious and known to all.

Overdependence on Lionel Messi

Barcelona has always been built around Lionel Messi but not on him. Sports enthusiasts do get it wrong when they say teams are built on a player. A team can only be built around a player, when you build a team on a player this is what happens.

Messi was disjointed from the team tonight and it felt like the team had no life. Back in 2015, when Barcelona defeated Bayern at Camp Nou 3-0, the team was around Messi not on him. Neymar scored in that game, the two goals Messi scored was assisted by Rakitic and Dani Alves. Rakitic pass left Messi with Boateng and the rest is history, Alves pass gave Messi a clear path to shoot.

Friday night, Messi was the passer and wants to the scorer at the same time which was not possible. In fact, the Bayern formation and tactics would not have even allowed him. 

We have seen sometimes when playing weaker teams how that can work, but when you are against Bayern at the absolute peak of their power that would never going to work.

Quique Setien's Formation

The formation was defensive but the error was not too defensive, if you defend, defend. Using Sergio Roberto was the shink in the armour and Bayern exploit that to the very best in the opening minutes.

Defeat or not, Quique Setien was toast anyway, he has not really gained the control of the dressing room and lost the confidence of his top players. The most depressing was to go out with your best formation, use your 4-3-3 and let what will happen.

Use Griezmann, Messi Suarez and Vidal, De Jong, Bousquet.

He was not the favourite for the job after the firing of Valverde but he came and truthfully, he is a great tactician looking what he did great at Real Betis but he has not done any good job with the ruins he met at Barcelona.

This is the end of Quique Setien at Barcelona, We would not be surprised on Saturday morning we see some firing at the club.

Top levels at the club

The top levels at the club need to be changed too, not just at the players level. Looking at signings done at the club for the past 5-6 seasons has been terrible. Waste of money to buy players, players that do not fit into the club. After the loss of Neymar, Barcelona has spent over 400 million Euros to replace him or strengthen the team which has led to nothing but financial profit to the club and football calamity.

The calamity has just become obvious on Friday night in Lisbon.

Change is needed at the club and it means at every level of the club.

Change in Football Mentality with Barcelona behind


Football has changed and Barcelona is far behind. They had a glimpse of modern football when Jordi Alba linked with Messi with Alba coughing up over 18 assists in a season. In modern football, full-backs are very involved in the offensive plays with little touches and every touch involving a forward play. Barcelona players are not doing that. The loss in Rome and Anfield had similar characteristics to this defeat. Weak players, less hunger, some defensive errors and no tactical approach.

The usual use of midfield to play is still relevant in football but Barcelona does not have the players expect for De Jong or the coach to train them in that way of play.

The loss of Iniesta and Xavi has depleted the creativity in the midfield, build-up play, vision, passes, agility, tenacity, hunger and all the quality of modern football. Barcelona team needs rebuilding because the old era is officially over.


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