In what Barça Blaugranes termed “another meek Champions League surrender”, Bayern Munich coasted past FC Barcelona like they were a middling Bundesliga team — and not one with lofty Champions League ambitions of their own. How did the German media take it? Well, how the Spanish media received it might be the better question for this one — but we’ll look at Germany’s Bild for now:
Player ratings [@BILD] pic.twitter.com/SN4t7dhLIy— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 26, 2022
- Managers in focus: as much as this was vindication for Julian Nagelsmann’s project at Bayern, this result throws Barça coach Xavi’s position up in the air. Xavi’s contract expires in 2024, and plenty of high-profile coaches are hanging around — Thomas Tuchel being a popular name.
- Some Barcelona fans also seem to think they could get Hansi Flick or Luis Enrique after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Who knows?
- Referee Anthony Taylor was handing out cards freely early, but had a calm handle on proceedings overall.
- Left-back Alejandro Balde had a decent outing for the home side; he’s a little hard done by here — along with Bayern full-backs Alphonso Davies and Noussair Mazraoui.
- Davies, in particular, showed the contrast in his defensive qualities with Barcelona’s Héctor Bellerín. As the ESPN commentators noted: Bayern have the personnel to play their high line; Barça simply do not.
- Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembelé were two Barcelona players who also impressed. They played their hearts out, but the whole was not greater than the sum of its parts. And that is something that Xavi must answer for with his tactics; it’s not enough to say it was the letdown of the earlier Inter Milan result.
- Ulreich, a 3? Well, OK...but he was calm, tidy, and — incredibly — did not face a single shot on goal. Hats off to the Bayern defense!
Is Xavi a goner? Was this a masterclass from Bayern and Nagelsmann, or were Barça just that bad? Sound off in the comments below.
Want more analysis of the game? How did Nagelsmann nullify Xavi and which players stood out? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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