Barcelona Eliminated from Champions League After 3-0 Loss to Bayern Munich

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2021

Bayern Munich's German midfielder Leroy Sane (2nd R) celebrates scoring the 2-0 with his team-mates Bayern Munich's French forward Kingsley Coman (L) and Bayern Munich's Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies (2nd L) during the UEFA Champions League group E football match FC Bayern Munich v FC Barcelona in Munich, southern Germany on December 8, 2021. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Bayern Munich closed out its group stage of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-0 home victory over Barcelona on Wednesday at Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala all scored to help the German club coast to three points.

Bayern had already sealed first place in Group E by winning its first five matches. Barcelona, on the other hand, owned a slim two-point edge over Benfica, so anything other than a win opened the door for the Portuguese club to catapult itself into second place.

With Benfica's 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv, Barca failed to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 2003-04.

Neither Bayern nor Barcelona got on the scoresheet by the time Roman Yaremchuk and Gilberto gave Benfica a 2-0 lead.

B/R Football @brfootball

Benfica 2-0 Dynamo Kyiv<br><br>Barça fans: <a href="https://t.co/dVO9DkfidK">pic.twitter.com/dVO9DkfidK</a>

Things didn't get much better for Barca in the 31st minute as Jordi Alba was forced to exit through injury. Shortly thereafter, Muller put Bayern ahead.

Robert Lewandowski kept Gerard Pique at a distance and floated the ball toward the back post. Muller didn't make great contact, but his header crossed the goal line before right back Ronald Araujo could make the clearance.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

THOMAS MULLER LOVES SCORING AGAINST BARCELONA 😏 <a href="https://t.co/pV08jK2ptX">pic.twitter.com/pV08jK2ptX</a>

It wasn't a goal against the run of play since Barcelona were chasing Bayern for much of the first 30 minutes. Bayern going ahead felt an inevitability.

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Barca are a shambles. A half-paced Bayern getting through with every attack.

Sane doubled Bayern Munich's lead in the 43rd minute in a moment that encapsulated how Wednesday simply wasn't Barcelona's night. Sane's shot had a combination of power and movement that made it somewhat difficult to track, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen's effort to make the save was surprisingly poor.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

LEROY SANE. WOW. 🚀 <a href="https://t.co/NKda1nV8dW">pic.twitter.com/NKda1nV8dW</a>

A comeback looked unlikely when Barcelona trailed by just two goals. Musiala put the final nail in the coffin in the 62nd minute when he scored from close range.

This outcome was entirely foreseeable for Barcelona. The club has been a mess behind the scenes for years, and it no longer has Lionel Messi to paper over the cracks of an aging, flawed squad on the field. Sixteen points separate La Liga leader Real Madrid from Barca, in seventh place.

Perhaps Xavi, who was appointed manager a month ago, will be the next Pep Guardiola over time and usher in a new era of dominance domestically and abroad. However, the 41-year-old remains unproven at this level, and there's only so much he can do to address the long-standing problems that have lingered at the Camp Nou.

On the other side, Bayern demonstrated why it's one of the strongest contenders in the Champions League field.

This was a comprehensive performance from the nine-time reigning Bundesliga champions. They limited their opponents to two shots on target and completed 71 more passes.

Most impressively, Bayern didn't seem to be operating at its full capacity yet maintained control for almost all 90 minutes.

What's Next?

Bayern awaits the results of Monday's round-of-16 draw. The German giant will be a seeded team by virtue of winning the group. By finishing third, Barcelona will fall into the Europa League.