Bayern beat Barcelona 3-0 for 1st loss of post-Messi era

AP , Tuesday 14 Sep 2021

Without Messi to rely on as it had for years, Barcelona was running scared from the start as it focused on protecting itself from another embarrassing defeat

Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (R) celebrates his goal with Bayern Munich's Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies during the UEFA Champions League first round group E football match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium (AFP)

Thomas Muller scored a goal and Robert Lewandowski added two more to help Bayern Munich deal Barcelona its first loss of the post-Lionel Messi era on Tuesday in a 3-0 victory at Camp Nou in their Champions League opener.

Muller's 34th-minute strike took his career tally to seven goals against Barcelona, including the two he netted in the 8-2 shellacking Bayern dealt Barcelona the last time they met in August 2020.

Without Messi to rely on as it had for years, Barcelona was running scared from the start as it focused on protecting itself from another embarrassing defeat.

The final score hid the total dominance of the Bundesliga powerhouse. Julian Nagelsmann's team turned the once great attacking juggernaut of Barcelona into a jittery bunch hunkered down their own area.

Lewandowski turned Bayern's complete control into goals in the 56th and 85th, both times putting in rebounds from shots that came off the post to the striker.

Even its fans back at Camp Nou, which was at 40% capacity, for the first time in the Champions League since the start of the pandemic could not muster a better showing from the home squad.

Barcelona had two wins and a draw in its three previous matches, all in the Spanish league, that it had played this season after its wretched finances had kept it from resigning Messi.

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