There have been worse Barças, but never so small. Barça debuted in the Champions League against the rival who endorsed the most terrible win in their European history (that 8-2 in Lisbon). Koeman, who feared the worst in the previous one like most fans, decided to die on his knees rather than fall to his feet. He placed a defense of five soft as butter, where only the forcefulness of Ronald Araujo and Gerard Piqué, at times, cushioned the superiority of Bayern Munich. Worse was the offensive balance, with zero shots on goal in 90 minutes. The Bavarians were better on paper, but once the ball started rolling last night … it turned out they were teams of different sizes. Where there is no more, there is no more.
The Dutch technician sent a message to his people since he decided to modify the system to try to shield himself. He knew they were inferior and reminded him with the lineup. Nothing could be further from reality, that five-man defense made up of Sergi Roberto, absolutely surpassed by Alphonso Davies, Piqué, Araujo, the fragile Eric García and Jordi Alba, lasted as long as Bayern Munich wanted. Barça not only defended poorly despite accumulating many players in their field (as in Müller’s 0-1) and close to Marc-André ter Stegen, but also did not have at any time a plan to win the match.
The target seemed to minimize damage by chasing shadows. Avoid a new win. Save the ridicule that could derive from a new black night in a traumatic history that is already beginning to weigh too much in Barcelona. Something that Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski took care of. When Bayern had it, everything made sense. Nevertheless, Barça did not have mechanisms in their notebook to get the ball played from behindTherefore, the only way to escape was the balls to some Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong who did not shoot a single time on target.
He gave the ball to Bayern
In other words, Barça raffled the ball for fear of losing it and the lack of automation to build from the first passes. And when he tried to keep the ball, he did not go beyond the center of the field before the suffocating and energetic pressure of Bayern. The possession was not so distributed (48% in favor of Barça, 52% in favor of Bayern), but the Bavarian was vertical, harmful and offensive. That’s why Bayern left with 17 shots and seven between the three sticks. In front was a splendid Joshua Kimmich who swept Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri in a display of judgment with the ball, tactical and physical positioning. There is no trace of that team that knew how to stop the rival by defending with the ball. The rhythm of Europe passes over Barça.
But let’s get back to the defense. The whole of Ronald Koeman was so helpless that he did not even knock down the Bayern players, who passed them like airplanes. There is only one data as negative as the zero shots between the three suits, and it is the sad nine fouls committed during the 90 minutes. Barça had multiple tactical and technical problems, and it is obvious that the difference in level was too great, but it also lacked a defensive attitude. Concentration, coordination and other more intangible aspects in the statistical. Maybe that image of Robert Lewandowski controlling and dribbling inside the area with players in the front watching how he did it is the most obvious example.
I confessed it I hammered in the post-match interview: “It is what it is, we are what we are now and I hope that players will be added. It’s a complicated year. “Probably, few duels showed the difference in level between Barça and Bayern and that” is what we are, we are what we are now “that the duel between Sergi Roberto and Alphonso Davies. Bayern’s Canadian left-back passed above a player who continues to be said “is not a side”, but does not stop accumulating games in that area and whose rivals they detect as a weak link in the Barça chain. Bayern deepened time and time again for his band , where he found a toll-free highway.
The worst thing for Barça last night was not the defeat. Not even the embarrassing result. The worst thing was knowing that if Bayern Munich had wanted to do more damage, 8-2 would not have been that far as it seems. That if the numbers are dishonorable, the feelings were much harsher. Koeman said in recent weeks that he “was a cruyffista but also a realist.” Nothing more real than observing the bath of reality that a project that started on July 1, 2021 like Julian Nagelsmann gave him.