The tragedy ended when Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League group stage for the second year in a row and had to play in the Europa League after Inter Milan defeated Viktoria Pilsen 4-0 on Wednesday.
Barca, already determined to play in the Europa League following Inter’s win, came to a standstill later in the day with a very one-sided 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou.
Several factors caused this new setback.
A merciless draw
First of all, the draw was cruel to them. They were placed in the hardest group. Opinions aside, the European champions have appeared in a trio.
Bayern was one of the favorites and Inter was his most formidable opponent in the third pot.
Turns out, no matter how well they performed in the first few weeks, the team was still at their initial formative stage. They lacked the killer instincts to attack Bayern in Munich.
They could have scored in the first half, but an incredible mistake put Bayern into the lead in the second half, throwing away the first three points.
With that result and Bayern’s victory over Inter, second place in two matches against Italy was effectively a knockout draw.
The first was the referee’s poor performance at Milan, which visibly hurt Barcelona. It’s not an excuse, however, played a part.
The defensive errors did not benefit the team that hoped to reach the Champions League final. With every goal having an individual error, Barcelona bet the advantage gained from Dembele’s opening goal.
The injuries cannot be forgotten. Xavi, without Kunde, Araujo, Christensen, and Bellerin against Inter, too many missing players in two important matches.
As we witnessed, against the Italians at Camp Nou, they were very critical. Without missing players, they certainly wouldn’t have made as many mistakes.
All these factors concluded in Barcelona getting eliminated. The team that wished to rise from the ashes kept collapsing.
Having lost to Liverpool in the semi-finals of 2018/2019, here are the results: In the quarter-finals against Bayern (2019/2020), in the round of 16 against PSG (2020/2021), and in the last two games they lost in the group stage. There are two games left in the season.
Barcelona will lose €20.6m on their balance sheet as they planned to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League but will regain some of it in the Europa League.
The problem is that sponsors might find it hard to believe in Blaugrana after being banned from the knockout rounds of the Champions League for two years.
Read More: Raphael Varane is out until the 2022 Qatar World Cup sustaining an injury