Bayern Munich crushed Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou in their opener of the 2021/22 Champions League season.
A goal from Thomas Muller, coupled with a brace from Robert Lewandowski, condemned the hapless Catalans to their first defeat on the first day of competition in 24 years.
Without Lionel Messi to provide creative inspiration or score in crucial moments, Ronald Koeman’s side were simply abject, a pale shadow of their roaring former selves.
The Bavarians found the breakthrough just after the half hour mark when Muller’s effort deflected Eric Garcia.
In form, Lewandowski then doubled his advantage with a tap-in after Jamal Musiala’s shot hit the upright, before scoring a second in the same way as Serge Gnabry also hit the post.
The reigning Bundesliga winners, much like in their 8-2 demolition job last year, outclassed their Spanish rivals from bow to stern. With a little more sharpness, the score would have been much greater.
Barcelona, unfortunately, have lost their club identity.
Here are the ratings from players on both sides:
Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.5 / 10
He turned down Sane twice in an incredible goalkeeper display, but Ter Stegen didn’t stand a chance with any of Bayern’s goals tonight.
Ronald Araujo – 7/10
The young Argentina star came of age with a mature performance tonight, blocking so many shots in the first half. He also made five clearances overnight.
Gérard Pique – 7.5 / 10
The Barcelona mainstay tried every trick of the trade tonight to stop Bayern’s formatters, but to no avail. However, that doesn’t take any credit for his heroic performance – five clears, two blocked shots, four tackles, six ground duels won, five long balls and 95% passes completed!
Eric Garcia – 6/10
He struggled to contain Lewandowski, catching up with him with a bad challenge early on before the Pole broke free of him in a magnificent offensive move. Oh, and Muller’s effort deflected the center-back as well.
Sergio Busquets – 6.5 / 10
The Barcelona skipper struggled to control the midfielder as the game essentially passed him. Koeman pulled him out of his misery in the 59th minute by kidnapping Busquets.
Sergi Roberto – 6/10
Another disappointing performance, Roberto was in six and seven all night, struggling to pull himself together against Bayern’s quick play. He too left with Busquets just before the hour of play.
Jordi Alba – 5/10
Completely out of beat, sloppy in passing and easily dispossessed (23 times to be exact), Alba looked quite like a depleted force tonight. Are his days at the top now numbered?
Frenkie de Jong – 6.5 / 10
Often times Barcelona playmaker De Jong was also below his best tonight. His passing was precise as always, but nothing significant really came of it.
Pedri – 6.5 / 10
The best young player of Euro 2020 was the shadow of his talismanic being who took the competition by storm a few months ago. He passed the ball well and let his socks sink in, but his overall impact was minimal.
Luuk de Jong – 5/10
Not the most memorable debut for the Dutchman, who had an ineffective exit for Barcelona. He made just 23 touches of the ball in 66 minutes of action and failed to muster a single shot.
Memphis Depay – 6/10
In terms of work ethic at least, Depay was better than his international teammate. But when it comes to direct threats, he too was below par. The flair with which he has played so far was totally lacking tonight.
Yusuf Demir – 6/10
The youngster replaced Roberto and could hardly achieve a better performance.
Gavi – 6.5 / 10
His sense of position was good and seemed confident.
Philippe Coutinho – 6/10
The ex-Barcelona midfielder had hoped to raise something against his former club but did not produce anything notable.
Oscar Mingueza – 6/10
He read the game well and even looked to set up Depay at one point with a moving ball, but Neuer handled it comfortably.
Alejandro Balde – 7/10
Fearless, daring and full of vigor, Balde was a breath of fresh air. Without doubt the best Barcelona replacement of the night.