BARCELONA — Goals from Sadio Mane, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard secured Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory over already-eliminated Barcelona on Wednesday as the German giants entered the Champions League as group winners won a spot in the round of 16.
Bayern lead Group C with 15 points, five ahead of Inter Milan, who also reached the knockout stage, after a 4-0 win over Viktoria Plzen early on Wednesday, and beat Barcelona for the second straight time in the group stage. was defeated by
With Barcelona out of the game, it didn’t take long for Bayern to open the scoring through Mane in the 10th minute of the first half after receiving a spectacular long pass from Serge Gnabry.
Mane beat Spanish defender Héctor Bellerin in the 50m race and scored with a clean finish.
Bayern doubled their lead in a similar fashion after 21 minutes, catching a sleeping Barça defense and losing a position.
Passed by Joshua Kimmich, Gnabry set up Choupo Moting from the edge of the box to score his sixth Champions League goal of the season.
Barça thought a penalty had been awarded after the clash between Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt and Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, but after a VAR check the referee ruled there had been no foul.
Bayern took their foot off the gas after half-time and ruled out Gnabry’s goal for offside in the 56th minute.
Pavard scored the third goal with a close-range strike from a corner on the final play of the game.
“The way we win gives us a lot of energy. I don’t think Barça expected us to be so bold. But when you play Barcelona you have to. Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann told DAZN.
“We scored two great goals and added a third at the end. We defended with great passion. The team made a statement tonight.”
Barcelona were in bad form and spent 90 minutes without scoring a single goal.
“We have to face a new reality. We weren’t even at the level to compete today,” Barça coach Xavi told Movistar Plus.
“I think the psychological side weighed heavily on us today, going into the game knowing we were already losing.
“We started the season with very high expectations, but ended up with a very mixed group and we weren’t able to reach the level we needed to compete with them. It’s a huge disappointment. .”
Since their last Champions League title in 2015, Barca have reached the semi-finals only once in 2019. In the quarter-finals of 2020 he lost 8-2 to Bayern, and in the round of 16 he lost to PSG. In 2021, and in the last two editions, they failed to make it past the group stage.
Last year, Barcelona’s group-stage exit came after a financial crisis that led to Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain and the resignation of the club’s entire board.
But better results were expected this season, following big money wins for Lewandowski, Rafinha and Jules Kunde.
They have won just one of their five matches in the group so far, and will advance to the second division Europa League after finishing third in the group for the second year in a row.