Barcelona To 'start From Scratch' After Champions League Exit
Muhammad Rameez Published December 09, 2021 | 09:30 AM
Munich, Germany, Dec 9 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Dec, 2021 ) :Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez vowed to return the Spanish giants to the pinnacle of European football after they crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday with a 3-0 defeat at Bayern Munich.
Five-time European champions Barca were eliminated in the group stages for the first time in 21 years. They had reached the last 16 in each season since 2003-04, when they did not qualify for the competition at all.
"I'm angry. I don't like that this is our reality now. We start a new era from here - to work hard and get back in the Champions League," said Xavi.
Bayern, who also beat Barca 3-0 at the Camp Nou when the sides met in September, had already qualified for the knock-out stages as Group E winners.
It was almost eight years to the day since Bayern lost a home Champions League game in the group phase and the Bundesliga leaders were in no mood to be generous.
"We start from scratch. Unfortunately, we are in the Europa League, which is not the place for us," insisted Xavi.
"We will work hard to put Barcelona back in the right place. We have many things to correct.
"We need to win the Europa League and recover the points in the Spanish league.
"We have had some injuries, maybe we can sign some more players, but we start from zero.
" Bayern were not even at full strength.
Robert Lewandowski found space on the left of the box and flicked a pass to Mueller who claimed his 50th Champions League goal when his header looped beyond the reach of Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
It was a double blow to the Barca bench who had just learnt Benfica were 2-0 up against Dynamo in Lisbon.
Things went from bad to worse for Barca when Sane hit the net with a powerful long-range shot that deceived Ter Stegen.
Instead of tapping the ball into the empty net, he poked the ball into Ter Stegen's grateful arms.
First to go were wingers Davies and Kingsley Coman.
After the final whistle, Mueller backed Xavi to turn Barcelona around.
"When you look at the (Barcelona) team, they are good players, they have everything they need," said Mueller.
"We know things aren't going so well behind the scenes and I had the feeling they couldn't find the intensity they needed, which helped our cause."