Barcelona sent packing from the Champions League
Matters have gone from bad to worse in a difficult season for Barcelona as the Spanish giants have crashed out of the Champions League group stage after their 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Xavi’s men needed to hope for a bit of help when they clashed with the Bavarian giants tonight with the Bundesliga side coming in as heavy favorites, but a loss would not have condemned the Catalan outfit to the Europa League if Benfica failed to secure a win at home against Dynamo Kyiv. The Portuguese side did not comply, however, and their 2-0 win sealed Barça’s fate.
The last time Barcelona played in the Europa League was 2003-04.
Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona in 2004-05 and he left 4 months ago.
We’re just saying 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/i1oUkNhrqH
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 8, 2021
It is the first time since 2003-04 that Barcelona has been made to complete in the Europa League, with the last time the club was ousted from the Champions League during the group stage coming 21-years ago at the hands of David O’Leary’s Leeds United in 2000.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 8, 2021
Barça join Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, FC Porto, Zenit St.Petersburg, FC Sheriff, Atalanta, and fellow La Liga outfit Sevilla in the drop down to the Europa League knownout stage.
The numbers behind Barça nightmare
Many may have been able to accept Barcelona failing to qualify for the knockout stage after some form of injustice on the pitch; having their chances of progression stolen in one way or another. But Xavi’s men have hardly been at the races under his tenure, with the seeds of failure being planted before him under Ronald Koeman.
And the numbers do not lie in this case, as they rarely ever do across larger sample sizes. For base value, Barcelona managed to score just two goals in the group stage in a pair of 1-0 wins against Group E bottom feeders Dynamo Kyiv.
Barcelona have scored 4 goals in 5 games under Xavi.
2 of those penalties.
3 came in one game.
reckon he knows where the big issues are by now and Ansu Fati’s return isn’t solving all of them at a stroke either.
— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) December 8, 2021
Those numbers reflect a frustrating trend under Xavi in the early days of his reign at Barcelona, with the club scoring just four goals in five matches under the former midfielder in all competitions since he took over.
It comes as no surprise that the Barcelona icon has been adamant about his need of recruiting attacking players in January after links with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Edinson Cavani surfaced in the early days of his takeover.
While Xavi is sure to draw the anger of many in the fanbase despite much of the groundwork for failure being laid by someone that came before him, the job is still massive for a returning son of La Masia and he may not be able to survive what comes down the road unless things change for the better in rapid order.