Barcelona’s new woeful normal

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 00:00 |

London, Wednesday

Barcelona’s new normal was laid bare last night after their chastening Champions League defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Forced into a new era without Lionel Messi this season after his shock departure, the pressure is increasing on boss Ronald Koeman and supporters are frustrated.

Their misery was even summed up by their failure to record a single shot on target for the first time ever in their history in the competition.

The under-fire Koeman pointed out the threadbare nature of his squad at full-time, and partnered Memphis Depay with Luuk de Jong.

However, both forwards found themselves struggling to make an impact, with Depay, who has enjoyed a flying start to this campaign, unable to replicate his magic.

As a result, Koeman was left to rue his lack of current options, and was open in admitting that Bayern are now a ‘better team’.

‘Of course we would have liked to compete better but there is a difference in their quality as a team [and ours],’ Koeman said.

‘There was a big difference between the benches too. We have lots of players with a big future but right now we need players back from injury.’

He then added: ‘We started well but we had problems getting forward. We were unlucky with the first goal and from their second goal it was very difficult.

‘Right now they are a better team than us.

‘This is where we are right now. Jordi Alba was ill last night and still played. This was Luuk De Jong’s first game. 

‘Alba was very tired and we didn’t want to risk him playing the whole game.’

Gerard Pique delivered a similarly bleak assessment of Barcelona’s stature, conceding that ‘we are what we are’ - but chose to focus on the rare positives.

‘Playing at home, it is a bad result, we are not going to fool ourselves,’ he said. ‘But if you look at the game, I think that in the first half we have competed, they have gone ahead with a deflected goal.    - Daily Mail

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