Barcelona’s runaway 3-3 draw with Inter means the club are still in the Champions League but actually not for much longer.
Inter will advance if they beat the girls of the group Viktoria Plzen next time. The match is an early start which means Barcelona could be gone by the time it takes place at the Camp Nou against Bayern Munich.
It was a lively night for the club after a summer spending spree that brought so much hope and anticipation. There was talk that Barcelona could really challenge for the title, but now they are heading to go again in the Europa League.
Barcelona have had their moments in Europe this season and their fair share of bad luck. Xavi said after the match that the competition was “tough” for Barcelona and that injuries, a tough group, individual errors and poor refereeing had all proven costly.
However, the simple fact is that Barcelona weren’t good enough again and, having won only one of their four group matches so far, simply do not deserve to qualify.
This outcome will also have far-reaching implications, not least financially, with preliminary estimates claiming that Barcelona would lose around €20m from not being left out of the group.
The spotlight will be greatly on the veterans Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets after notable errors. Barcelona were 1-0 up and in good shape when Pique made the kind of mistake that left you speechless.
The central defender played with everyone and then stepped up, completely unaware of Nicolo Parilla, who stole and scored the equalizer despite Gavi’s best efforts to stop him.
More errors followed as Lautaro Martinez and Ruben Goossens scored for Inter. Busquets in particular was guilty of giving the ball away before the second goal. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was also needed to save a string of excellent balls to prevent the hosts from scoring more goals.
Pique plays only because of injuries to Ronald Araujo, Jules Conde and Andreas Christensen, and this performance showed exactly why. You suspect this was probably his last ever appearance in Europe’s biggest competition, too.
Xavi has made it clear this season that he does not depend on Pique and Alba but has remained adamant that Busquets is and will remain a key player for him. Will that change now after this outcome?
Another question that many people will ask is what exactly does Xavi see in Marco Alonso? The Chelsea man was brought in on a free transfer in the summer but was poor again on Wednesday and looking to sign an increasingly curious one.
Alejandro Balde sat on the bench on Champions League night again but came on in the second half. Unsurprisingly, it made an impact and you can’t help but wonder, again, why didn’t it start?
You doubt that Xavi went for experience, especially since he had to put up a corrective line of defense in such a crucial match, but Baldy was one of the highlights of the season and Xavi has not let down so far.
There aren’t many comforting gestures that Barcelona fans can take away from his game, but the sight of Robert Lewandowski returning to the scoring list was definitely one.
The Poland international went two full games without a goal, a real drought for a man of his competence, but he did not give up against Inter. He was deeply impressed all night but still scored two goals and did his best to give the hosts hope of a comeback.
It wasn’t, but the sight of Lewandowski scoring in the 82nd minute and then again in stoppage time urging his teammates to come back quickly was encouraging.
14- Robert Lewandowski has scored 14 goals this season in all competitions. Only Erling Braut Haaland (20) has scored more among players from the top five European Championships. predator. pic.twitter.com/96nbLgL7dJ
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 12 2022
Barcelona’s morale will need to rise before the Clasico, but Lewandowski’s performance will give the team optimism that they can beat Los Blancos at the Bernabeu once again.
The Poland international has already admitted that he can’t wait to play in the Clasico and there is no doubt that the brimming Lewandowski will give Los Blancos a lot to think about.
Of course, heading to the Bernabeu after a poor result in Europe is not the best way to prepare for one of the biggest matches of the season.
Xavi is sure to stop his work on stirring up his forces after such a disappointing result that showed his team is still far from competing with the best players in Europe.
“There are other competitions, the La Liga, the King’s Cup, the Super Cup. The Barcelona coach said after the match.
Despite all of Barcelona’s European problems, Xavi’s team did not lose in the league and only conceded once. There is also hope for Jules Kounde’s return which will be a huge boost.
The downside is that Barcelona haven’t looked great since the international break, perhaps relying on the old saying about shape going out the window in the derby.
However, a win would put Barcelona three points ahead of Real Madrid and prove some solace for the couple.
Suddenly he lost his October list of matches which includes matches against Villarreal, Athletic, Bayern and Valencia that already looks very tough.
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