Barcelona are tired of having to settle for moral victories.
Unfortunately for Xavi and his team, they’re going to have to settle for it once again as they lost 2-0 in the Champions League to Bayern Munich.
The match against the German giants was their first test to see how they measured up with one of the best teams in Europe. It was an opportunity to see how much they’ve progressed given their new signings.
For the first 45 minutes, they took it to Bayern with Robert Lewandowski having a couple of opportunities to score against his former side. At the end of the half, Barcelona could have gone into the break with a deserved two goal lead.
They failed to make Bayern Munich pay which is only asking for trouble.
It only took a span of about ten minutes in the second half for the home team to be 2-0 up thanks to a goal on a corner kick by Lucas Hernandez and a dazzling run by Leroy Sane minutes later.
For all the dominance both in possession and chances created, Barcelona lacked a clinical touch to put their chances away.
Both the players and the manager knew they left Bayern off the hook
“I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off. I don’t like to lose – and we didn’t deserve it,” said Xavi. “I think we were better, we dominated them. We were better. But this is the Champions League.
“The process was good, but the result was bad. It was a golden opportunity to win at this stadium, and we leave with a defeat. I’m pissed off.”
Xavi claimed his side were better than Bayern, especially in the first half. He also recognized that this sport is about winning and deserving to win takes a back seat to that.
Pedri, who had a chance to get one back for Barcelona but saw his shot hit the post, had a similar reaction after the game.
“A tricky match, in the first half we had many chances to score, but when you don’t take advantage of that you end up paying for it,” Pedri said. “These are our mistakes, they score a goal from a corner kick and that cannot happen. We know that they are dangerous there. We competed a lot and we could have won the game, I think we have to continue like this.”
Barcelona may have come out on the wrong of end of things in their first big test of the season. But it doesn’t mean they’re not on the right path.
The last handful of losses against Bayern Munich, the feeling after those games was one of disappointment. Disappointment at how better Bayern were and how far Barcelona have fallen.
That’s not the case this time around.
This time, the feeling is of anger and frustration because they had Bayern on the ropes and with multiple chances to take the lead. They were wasteful in front of goal and they know it. On another night, Lewandowski converts on those chances and the outcome is completely different.
All Barcelona can do now is correct on those facets of the game that let them down. Particularly in the set piece goal and the breakdown in defense for Sane’s goal.
Despite the loss, they proved they could do more than hang with Bayern Munich. They’re certainly going to be eagerly awaiting the return leg at the Camp Nou.