Football Features

“The final nail in the coffin of a world-class reputation” – Player ratings as Bayern Munich send Barcelona crashing out of the Champions League

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:21, 8 December 2021


In a one-sided night of football, Bayern Munich thrashed Barcelona 3-0 to send them tumbling out of the Champions League.

Xavi’s era gets off to a rocky start in Europe as the Blaugrana are heading to the Europa League.

Here’s how the players rated at the Allianz Arena:


Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer – 8 – Really impressive. Not in a showy way as he usually is, just comfortably great across the board.

Benjamin Pavard – 8 – Had some issues with Dembélé early on but eventually got to grips with him and anyone else who tried to test him down the Bayern right. Is slowly coming into some form.

Dayot Upamecano – 7 – Put Memphis Depay in his back pocket again, to the extent that Memphis would often retreat to right-wing to get away from him and didn’t dare go near him in the box.

Niklas Sule – 7 – Rock solid at the back.

Alphonso Davies – 8 – Repeatedly terrified Barcelona with his forward runs and provided a superb assist for Musiala’s goal.

Corentin Tolisso – 7 – Decent enough at keeping possession ticking over. Drove the ball forward well too.

Jamal Musiala – 7 – A decent display at the heart of midfield capped with a lovely finish to make it 3-0.

Kingsley Coman – 8 – Looked sharp with his movement. Came in off the flank nicely and provided problems for Barcelona. Created a game-high 4 chances.

Leroy Sané – 7 – Scored a stunning effort to double Bayern’s lead. Should have scored a second early in the second-half and should have made it a hat-trick when sent clean through 1-v-1 with Ter Stegen but blazed over.

Thomas Muller – 8 – Opened the scoring with a lovely looping header and constantly looked a menace to Barcelona just as he promised he would a week ago after the Ballon d’Or result left him incredulous.

Robert Lewandowski – 7 – Great cross to Muller. Didn’t do much besides that as Piqué and Araujo handled him well.

Substitutes:

Marc Roca (for Tolisso 60′) – 6 – This Espanyol man got to enjoy beating Barcelona.

Bouna Sarr (for Coman 71′) – n/a – Came on as the game was done.

Omar Richards (for Davies 71′) – 6 – Came on as the game was done but really put himself about, throwing tackles around and even getting booked.

Malik Tillman (for Lewandowski 78′) – n/a – Came on late.

Tanguy Nianzou (for Sule 78′) – n/a – Came on late.


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Barcelona

Marc-André Ter Stegen – 3 – An awful early pass was balanced by a huge touch to prevent a Lewandowski tap-in 25 minutes in. Debased himself completely with a pathetic flailing spasm as Leroy Sané blasted in Bayern’s second. For a goalkeeper who once counted himself among the world’s finest his inability to save a fierce shot that was well within range was perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Ter Stegen’s world-class reputation. Would Arnau Tenas really be worse than this?

Ronald Araujo – 7 – Had absolutely no help in both attack and defence yet still impressed. Drove Barcelona forward early on and handled Leroy Sané and Alphonso Davies basically by himself and helped out with Lewandowski too. Got skinned for the third Bayern goal but that was his only error, really. Had Barcelona played him at centre-back then maybe they could have better resisted the Bayern attack.

Gerard Piqué – 4 – Made some headers and interceptions, sure, but his marking was slack for Bayern’s first goal and he was absymally positioned on Bayern’s third. Moreover he got pulled apart by pretty much all of Leroy Sané’s runs when Barcelona needed him to be a rock for the whole 90 minutes, not just most of them.

Clement Lenglet – 4 – Absymal on Bayern’s first goal, completely failing to handle Thomas Muller even though he looked and saw him coming. Simply not good enough.

Jordi Alba – 5 – Looked solid defensively before being forced off through injury 30 minutes in.

Sergio Busquets – 5 – Decent in terms of his distribution but didn’t quite push the tempo enough. Seems to get stage-fright against Bayern.

Frenkie de Jong – 7 – Shielded defence well and drove the ball into the final third repeatedly only to look up and never find anyone in a promising position. Created more chances than any of his team-mates (3).

Gavi – 7 – Pressed superbly. Dribbled wonderfully. Carried the ball forward and put quality passes into the box but there was just nothing in terms of support from his team-mates. Would have thrived with a fit Ansu Fati and Pedri, but will now see Barcelona play Europa League football for the first time in his life.

Sergino Dest – 4 – Worked hard but he isn’t a forward and it showed as he failed to execute on attacking movements.

Ousmane Dembélé – 4 – Caused constant danger with his pace and movement, creating two chances early on but missed a sitter in the early stages and was shockingly poor after that, showing very little of the rocket pace and bursting intent that defined his early minutes in the Allianz Arena. This could have been the night he made himself a hero, he had the chances, but just like in Paris last season hs declined to ascend the throne that Barcelona are constantly presenting to him.

Memphis Depay – 3 – Really underwhelming on a night when Barcelona badly needed a big performance from him. Constantly either gave the ball away or showed such little ambition with his passing that he may as well have not been on the pitch.

Substitutes:

Oscar Mingueza (for Alba 30′) – 7 – Added a defensive solidity that was much needed. Bayern scored three goals but none of them were even remotely his fault as the German side got no change out of him.

Nico Gonzalez (for Dest 46′) – 5 – Was more solid than Dest, but never really stamped his authority on the game.

Philippe Coutinho (for Dembélé 73′) – 4 – Added nothing when Barcelona needed a spark.

Riqui Puig (for De Jong 73′) – 4 – Showed less ambition and drive than De Jong.

Yusuf Demir (for Gavi 86′) – n/a – Came on late.

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