Robert Lewandowski scored a brace as Bayern Munich secured a valuable 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern Munich kickstarted their UEFA Champions League campaign on a positive note, securing a thumping 3-0 win over Barcelona at Camp Nou. It was yet another embarrassing evening for the hosts, who were completely outplayed by their superior opponents as Ronald Koeman’s woes continue.
Indeed, the mighty Bavarians were the better team right from the beginning, dominating every department of the game, both offensively and defensively. It appears the appointment of Julian Nagelsmann has really improved the overall balance of Bayern’s game, as they weren’t willing to take too many risks in the press but still managed to dominate their opposition nonetheless.
Bayern drew first blood in the 34th minute through Thomas Muller, whose deflected effort bamboozled Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Barca were still quite lucky to head into half-time with the one-goal deficit, as their opponents were a bit too inventive in the final third rather than being direct.
It was a similar story in the second half, but an early goal from Robert Lewandowski ensured Bayern’s dominance on the proceedings. Barcelona did look a bit better during the final phase of the game. However, hopes of a comeback were squashed aside by Lewandowski once again, as he landed the final blow in the 85th minute, sealing all three points for his team.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over two teams in this blockbuster affair at Camp Nou this evening.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6.5/10
Marc-Andre ter Stegen made at least three excellent saves for Barcelona this evening. He was not lucky enough to get away with the rebounds and was certainly not helped by his teammates, in what was an unfortunate game for the German international.
Thomas Muller punishing Barcelona again. The German scores his goal to take the lead over the Catalan teampic.twitter.com/9OYJlVewdc
— BirdieFootball (@birdiefootball) September 14, 2021
Ronald Araujo: 5/10
Ronald Araujo did showcase his physical prowess at times and did a rather decent job on most occasions. At the same time, he was made to look amateurish at times, with Barcelona lacking any sort of shape.
Gerard Pique: 4.5/10
Gerard Pique was introduced to add the experience in the Barcelona defence. It didn’t work out all too well for the Catalans, with the veteran centre-back notably getting beaten by Lewandowski for the final goal.
Eric Garcia: 4/10
Eric Garcia was the worst defender of the night for FC Barcelona. He was not brave enough in most instances, including Muller’s attempt as he turned his back on the shot. Not a good performance from the young defender.
Sergio Busquets: 4.5/10
Sergio Busquets’ presence in midfield was made redundant by Bayern Munich’s sheer dominance in the game. He couldn’t influence much on the possession front, leading to a fairly disappointing evening.
Busquets showed in Euros how he can still be great within the right tactical set-up. Without that set-up he's completely lost tho… pic.twitter.com/m3NhPU5p0m
— FC Barcelona Fans Nation (@fcbfn_live) September 14, 2021
Sergi Roberto: 4.5/10
Sergi Roberto was a bit of a mismatch on the right hand side, where he had to deal with the pacy Alphonso Davies. He simply couldn’t stamp his authority on the proceedings and shouldn’t have started in the first place.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Frenkie de Jong looked the most promising midfielder for Barcelona, notably drawing an early yellow card for Joshua Kimmich. But he simply wasn’t consistent enough on the ball.
Pedri was largely anonymous for Barcelona, as Bayern Munich offered very little opportunity for him to influence the game. A stale performance from the youngster.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
Jordi Alba was one of the main threats for Bayern in the first half, as far as creativity is concerned. Despite not being fully fit, the left-back tried his best to make things happen but simply couldn’t go the extra mile and was replaced during the final phase of the game.
📸 – Jordi Alba seems broken. pic.twitter.com/4Z60hbEXUf
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) September 14, 2021
Memphis Depay: 6/10
Memphis Depay had a hopeless evening against Bayern Munich as he was simply not offered enough support. It resulted in the Dutchman having to drop back to receive the ball, giving the opposition ample time to isolate him.
Luuk de Jong: 5/10
Luuk de Jong didn’t provide anything to the table for Barca. He was often too slow to cause any problems for the pacy Bayern defenders and shouldn’t have started the game.
Gavi made a noticeable impact after coming on Busquets. He was full of energy and even created a few opportunities and making some strong challenges. Got lucky to not receive two yellow cards though.
Yusuf Demir: 5.5/10
Yusuf Demir provided more freshness to the Barca attack, but lost possession that led to Bayern’s third goal of the night. Needs more confidence and game-time.
Philippe Coutinho: 5/10
Philippe Coutinho struggled to impact the game after coming on around the hour mark.
Oscar Mingueza: 5/10
Oscar Mingueza was not competent enough in preventing Bayern Munich score the third goal.
Alejandro Balde: 6/10
Alejandro Balde made a solid impression on his debut, rattling Niklas Sule with a couple of pacy runs down the flank.
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Manuel Neuer didn’t have anything to do as Barcelona failed to muster a single shot on target. It led to a quiet evening for the German international, who was responsible and effective in the build-up play, as ever.
Benjamin Pavard: 6.5/10
Benjamin Pavard wasn’t much influential going forward but he stuck to his task of defending Depay and Alba in wide areas. A decent outing for the Frenchman considering his struggles with injuries.
Dayot Upamecano: 8/10
Dayot Upamecano had a fantastic evening for Bayern Munich. He was the rock at the back for the visitors that dominated almost every challenge and aerial duel. His pace also allowed him to cover up for the Barcelona attackers getting in behind him and the Frenchman was certainly one of the best performers this evening.
Dayot Upamecano vs Barcelona
89% pass accuracy
1/1 successful dribbles
4 tackles won
2 aerials won
9/15 duels won
Beast mode ON. pic.twitter.com/0kNbrfWtmk
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) September 14, 2021
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Niklas Sule offered excellent support to Upamecano at the heart of the Bayern backline. The former Hoffenheim prodigy wasn’t given much worries by the likes of Depay or de Jong, as he strolled through the ninety minutes. Had a few difficulties late on, dealing with the pace of Balde, though.
Alphonso Davies: 8/10
THT’s Player to Watch heading into this game, Alphonso Davies enjoyed a field day against Barcelona as he rattled the flanks with his pace and attacking prowess. He was a menace for the opposition, causing all sorts of problems and giving Bayern numerical superiority in the final third.
Joshua Kimmich: 7.5/10
Joshua Kimmich orchestrated the midfield and showcased excellent composure after picking up a yellow card inside five minutes. He is a true leader at the heart of the Bayern midfield.
Leon Goretzka: 6.5/10
Leon Goretzka had an off day with the ball at his feet, struggling with his link-up play and forays into the final third. He was effective in the press, though, making life difficult for Barca’s midfield trifecta.
Jamal Musiala: 7/10
Jamal Musiala wasn’t enjoying one of his best games. But as the youngster often does, he managed to find a moment of magic in the second half, with his attempt from outside the box that hit the post. The rebound led to Lewandowski’s first goal, though the youngster certainly wasn’t as impressive as he has been lately.
Successful dribbles in the first half:
Jamal Musiala – 4
Barcelona – 4
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 14, 2021
Thomas Muller: 7/10
Thomas Muller comes through when you least expect him and that’s exactly what he did this evening. Even though Bayern were dominating the game, it was him whose effort on goal led to a deflection and gave Bayern the all-important opener. Other than the goal, the forward did a decent job of creating chances and opening up spaces in the final third.
Leroy Sane: 7/10
Leroy Sane looked much more confident now that he is in fine form. The winger was frustrating to watch at times, but he still caused a lot of problems for the Barca defenders.
Robert Lewandowski: 8.5/10
Robert Lewandowski was the undisputed man of the match in this game, doing what he does best – scoring goals. The Pole international was simply too much for Barca, especially after the first goal that released the shackles and allowed him to be expressive in the final third. The forward eventually netting his second by expertly beating Pique, capping off a wonderful display.
Robert Lewandowski has now scored a goal in 18 consecutive matches for Bayern 🤯 pic.twitter.com/uxYxyAAI6y
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 14, 2021
Lucas Hernandez: 7/10
Lucas Hernandez looked incredibly solid after coming on for Pavard during the midway point of the second half. He was strong in challenges and barely looked threatened by the opposition attackers.
Serge Gnabry: 7/10
Serge Gnabry found himself in open pockets on multiple occasions during the final phase of the game. Created a few good opportunities for Bayern as well.
Kingsley Coman: N/A
A late replacement for Sane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Marcel Sabitzer: N/A
A late replacement for Muller. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Josip Stanisic: N/A
A late replacement for Sule. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.