Gerard Pique’s infamous uttering of “we are what we are” after Barcelona‘s first loss to Bayern Munich this season say it all. That was reinforced on Wednesday as they lost 3-0 to the Bavarians again.
The Catalans resisted for half an hour, keeping the Germans at an arm’s length and Ousmane Dembele was their brightest spark. Now, Xavi Hernandez will await Pedri, Ansu Fati, and others’ returns, readying for Thursday night action in the Europa League after Christmas.
Barcelona are going to have to change a lot to stand any chance of winning the Europa League. A lot can change between now and February, and if Xavi can get his ideas across then they should be able to compete.
For now, though, they’re a long way away from that. They could face strong teams like Borussia Dortmund, one of Atalanta or Villarreal, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, West Ham, Real Sociedad, Real Betis and countless others.
Barcelona have become regular victims of Bayern’s, losing six times and winning just once of their seven meetings in the last decade. The Germans have scored 24 goals to Barcelona’s seven, and 14 of those have come in the last three games.
In all, the record is 28-12 in the Champions League and 32-15 in all competitions.
Xavi’s work goes unnoticed
There appeared to be some green shoots in the first couple of games as Barcelona only looked to be lacking goals, but the recent performances have shown that there’s a lot more work to be done at the Camp Nou.
Xavi arrived from Qatar filled with hope, but they’re now further away from the top of LaLiga Santander and they’re no longer in the Champions League.
Bayern are on another level
Beyond the fact that Barcelona aren’t what they once were, Bayern are something else completely. Not only do they have a great squad, but they also play at an incredible pace and rhythm.
A lot of it is down to their coach’s demands, but the players are also as driven as they can be.
Jordi Alba’s KO
He came into the game surrounded by doubt but took a risk and played, though he didn’t even last 30 minutes.
He pulled up and asked to be taken off, meaning Barcelona lost an offensive option but Xavi now has a new injury concern to give him another headache.