Without Lionel Messi for a first European campaign since 2003, Barca were outplayed by Bayern, who might have scored more but in the end settled for three thanks to Thomas Mueller’s deflected opener and Lewandowski’s double.
Ronald Koeman’s position has come under scrutiny in recent weeks and his 5-3-2 formation, that defies Barcelona’s attacking traditions, will not have strengthened his hand.
But Bayern’s authority was set, even if their opening goal owed a lot to fortune, Mueller unleashing from 30 yards and the ball diverting off the back of Eric Garcia, wrongfooting Ter Stegen and creeping inside the post.
Sane hit the right foot of Ter Stegen from eight yards and then Lewandowski made it two, studding the ball into an open goal after the Barca keeper committed to Jamal Musiala’s shot that cannoned off the post.
Julian Nagelsmann’s strong start as coach continues – this was a sixth consecutive victory – but he will know Bayern will face tougher Champions League opposition than this.
Instead, Bayern delivered perhaps an even louder message about the gulf in class by easing off in the latter stages, as Barca’s fans expressed their anger, dismay and finally a sense of resignation.
Sergi Roberto was on the end of the loudest whistles from the home supporters and it was impossible not to wonder if the criticism came in part from disappointment at the lack of progress down the right flank, where Messi once created so much..Read Full Story