Thomas Muller scored again as Bayern Munich secured yet another comprehensive win over Barcelona in the Champions League.
Barcelona bowed out of the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time in 20 years after a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The defeat sees the Catalans finish third in their group, with Benfica’s win over Dynamo Kyiv helping them clinch second place.
It was a hopeless performance from the Barcelona team that lacked the propensity to prevail against their mighty opponents. They started the game well, showcasing a lot of grit and determination. But Bayern’s quality soon became evident when they secured the opener through Thomas Muller in the 34th minute.
The Bavarians extended their lead just before half-time, thanks to Leroy Sane’s long-range effort that completely bamboozled Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The goal saw Barca entirely lose their grip over the game and, more importantly, the belief to try and take on the hosts. It became evident in their toothless second-half performance as Bayern continued to pile on the pressure and dominate the game without any real difficulties.
They found their third goal in the 62nd minute through Jamal Musiala. In many ways, Barcelona were lucky not to concede more, as Bayern attackers looked very wasteful in front of goal. But a 3-0 defeat was enough to send the Catalans to the UEFA Europa League. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two teams in this one-sided affair at the Allianz Arena this midweek.
Manuel Neuer: 7/10
Manuel Neuer had to remain alert, especially when Barcelona pushed forward for an early goal. After the early pressure, the Bayern Munich ‘keeper didn’t have much to do, with the opposition mustering only two shots on target. Another routine clean sheet for Neuer in the Champions League this season.
Benjamin Pavard: 7.5/10
Benjamin Pavard enjoyed the best game of his season so far, much to the misfortune of Barcelona. The right-back barely looked rattled when dealing with the threat of his fellow countryman, Ousmane Dembele. An impressive display that will do his confidence a world of good.
Dayot Upamecano: 7/10
Dayot Upamecano was barely worked by the Barcelona attackers. They struggled to breach the defender in one-on-one situations while looking hapless on the break due to the Frenchman’s pace. The centre-back appears to be back to his best after a shoddy display against Borussia Dortmund.
Niklas Sule: 6.5/10
Starting ahead of Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule produced a decent shift in defence for Bayern. He did look nervy on a few occasions, but his confidence on the ball, coupled with his imposing presence, made life difficult for the Barca attackers.
Alphonso Davies: 8/10
Alphonso Davies vs. #FCB:
— Peter Galindo (@GalindoPW) December 8, 2021
Alphonso Davies produced yet another classy performance on the left flank. He was no match for Sergino Dest with his pace and dribbling, while the Canadian international also fulfilled his defensive responsibilities on the night.
Corentin Tolisso: 6/10
Corentin Tolisso was the only Bayern player that struggled to perform on the night. He failed to take control of the midfield, often looking clumsy and vulnerable in possession. His passing was abject, to say the least, which led to a 60th-minute substitution.
Jamal Musiala: 7.5/10
Jamal Musiala started in the double-pivot alongside Tolisso, which was quite an interesting move by Julian Nagelsmann. It worked out well for the most part as the youngster capitalised on a stable start to the proceedings and offered creativity from the middle of the park. He capped off his display with a goal in the second half.
BUUUUUUUUT DE MUSIALAAAAAAAA POUR ÉLIMINER LA RACAILLE BARCELONAISE !! pic.twitter.com/wLRWj2RfDt
— Jamal Musiala Fr ?? (@FrMusiala) December 8, 2021
Kingsley Coman: 8/10
Kingsley Coman was one of the liveliest players on the pitch. He made life difficult for the Barcelona defenders with his pace on the break and the ability to drive crosses into the box. The Frenchman had a key part to play in most of Bayern’s forays into the box, making him one of the best performers on the night.
Thomas Muller: 8.5/10
Thomas Muller started the game slowly, but he eventually settled in with his unconventional tricks and an incredible positioning sense. He opened the scoring with a well-placed header, becoming the 8th player in Champions League’s history to exceed the 50-goal mark.
Thomas Muller vs Barcelona:
More goals against Barca than any other player in Champions League history ? pic.twitter.com/oZj0ijQ77w
— GOAL (@goal) December 8, 2021
Leroy Sane: 7.5/10
Leroy Sane was a mixed bag on the evening. He scored from a long-range effort just before the hour mark, but the winger looked very wasteful in front of goal, missing a couple of golden scoring opportunities in the second period. The German international should have at least scored a hat-trick.
Robert Lewandowski: 7/10
If there was one thing Barcelona were successful at, it’s keeping Robert Lewandowski quiet. The Polish hitman indeed struggled to involve himself in the final third due to the tight marking. But he did assist the Muller opener while his exquisite long pass was vital in the build-up to the third goal. Can’t keep him out of the game.
Marc Roca: 6.5/10
Marc Roca made a rare appearance when he replaced Tolisso around the hour mark. The Spaniard didn’t do much in midfield, but his return to the pitch was a good sign for Bayern.
Bouna Sarr: N/A
A late replacement for Coman. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Omar Richards: N/A
A late replacement for Davies. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Malik Tillman: N/A
A late replacement for Lewandowski. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Tanguy Nianzou: N/A
A late replacement for Sule. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 4/10
Marc-André ter Stegen couldn't get his hands on it ?
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 8, 2021
Marc-Andre ter Stegen completely misjudged the curve of Sane’s long-range effort, allowing him to score Bayern’s second goal. His positioning was also questionable during Muller’s opener, leading to yet another underwhelming performance from the German.
Ronald Araujo: 5/10
Hailed as Barcelona’s best defender heading into the contest, Ronald Araujo was taken to the cleaners on multiple occasions by the Bayern forwards, including Davies, during the build-up to the third goal.
Gerard Pique: 6.5/10
Gerard Pique deserves a bit of credit for keeping Lewandowski quiet inside the box. Unfortunately, the sheer strength of Bayern saw them dominate the game without the involvement of their best player.
Clement Lenglet: 6/10
Clement Lenglet lacked the urgency to defend some of the Bayern attacks and may have done better with his marking during Muller’s opener. He was not the worst player on the pitch, however, as he tried to resist the opposition pressure throughout the game.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
Jordi Alba made a couple of crucial blocks and clearances early on in the proceedings. But his night was cut short by an unfortunate injury that forced him off around the half-hour mark.
? – Jordi Alba can’t play on. pic.twitter.com/GlbQLRBh2b
— ??? ???? ? (@TheEuropeanLad) December 8, 2021
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Frenkie de Jong wasn’t quite able to take advantage of Bayern Munich’s weak midfield. To the opposition’s credit, the supporting players in the press were quick to neutralise him during possession phases. The magic of Nagelsmann brewing in the air.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Sergio Busquets had quite a start to the game, as he picked up a few knocks and was forced to make a foul on Robert Lewandowski to minimise the repercussions of ter Stegen’s error. The Spaniard did what he could to add stability in the Barcelona midfield, but the quality of the opposition was telling.
Aside from his charged tackles and dynamism in the middle of the park, Gavi was unable to make much of a difference. The youngster was simply bettered by the opponents, who were far more organised and tactically adept than Barcelona.
Sergino Dest: 2/10
Sergino Dest was completely outclassed by Davies on the far side, even during sprints. The American international looked very uncomfortable against the Canadian and was also unable to offer much in the creative side of things. It led to his substitution at half-time.
Davies leaves Dest in the dust… ? that’s not even close pic.twitter.com/ueRhaTuocn
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) December 8, 2021
Memphis Depay: 6/10
Memphis Depay did what he could to offer a dynamic presence in the final third. He waited for any kind of mistake from the Bayern defenders, and while that isn’t usually a bad idea, the moment never quite arrived.
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
Ousmane Dembele looked slightly dangerous during the early parts of the game. But as the match progressed, the Frenchman struggled to make forays into the flanks and was defended rather well by Pavard, as mentioned earlier.
Oscar Mingueza: 4/10
Oscar Mingueza replaced the injured Alba early on in the proceedings. His presence in defence made Barcelona much more vulnerable, with Coman, in particular, exposing him on multiple occasions.
Nico Gonzalez: 6/10
Nico Gonzalez added a more dynamic and creative presence in Barcelona’s final third after replacing Dest at half-time. The youngster should have started the game, to begin with, although that may not have had much impact on the final result.
Philippe Coutinho: N/A
A late replacement for Dembele. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Riqui Puig: N/A
A late replacement for de Jong. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Yusuf Demir: N/A
A late replacement for Gavi. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.