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Barcelona's post-Messi plight took another dark turn with an embarrassing defeat to Bayern Munich

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Insider
 2021-09-15

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Barcelona’s players looked dejected after its defeat to Bayern.
  • Barcelona's post-Messi plight took another dark turn with an embarrassing defeat to Bayern Munich.
  • Ronald Koeman's side lost 3-0 without registering a single shot on target.
  • After, the club's president pleaded with the fans to "trust and support" the team.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .

FC Barcelona's post-Lionel Messi plight continued on Tuesday night as it was swept aside by Bayern Munich in its Champions League opener.

Goals from Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski sank Ronald Koeman's side to a 3-0 defeat at the Camp Nou.

Without Messi - who joined Paris Saint Germain in the summer - at the helm, Barcelona failed to register a single shot on target for the first in its Champions League history.

"The result is rough and playing at home, it's a bad result, we can't lie to ourselves," defender Gerard Pique said after the defeat."

He added: "It is what it is, right now, we are who we are."

Though the result was an improvement on the 8-2 defeat to Bayern last year that kick started the club's descent into chaos, it still was a far cry from the Barcelona of old.

Muller opened the scoring for the dominant visitors in the 34th minute when his strike took a wicked deflection off a stationary Eric Garcia, who had failed to close the German down, and into Marc-Andre ter Stegen's goal.

After the break, Ter Stegen foiled Bayern on mutiple occasions, but the Bundesliga champion eventually found a way through once again through the irrepressible Robert Lewandowski, who found the net for the 18th match running.

The Polish striker then struck again late on, prodding home from close range after Serge Gnabry's shot had come back off the post, to wrap up the scoring.

The defeat for Barcelona means it has now lost three consecutive home games in European soccer competitions for the first time ever.

In the 13 months since Barcelona's 8-2 defeat to Bayern and Tuesday's 3-0 loss - Barcelona has sank into a state of disrepair.

Messi asked to leave the club following last year's defeat, but eventually backed down and agreed to stay in order to avoid a legal battle.

Former president Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down in October amid the fallout, and was arrested shortly after for allegedly using the club's money to run a "smear campaign" against Messi and other players.

A financial report released in January then revealed Barcelona to be in $1.4 billion of debt.

Though Bartomeu's replacement, Joan Laporta, had convinced Messi to sign a new contract, the club's disastrous financial situation meant it was unable to extend the Argentine's stay at the Camp Nou, and he became a free agent before joining PSG.

It also meant a number of the club's longest serving players, including Pique and Sergio Busquets, were forced to take pay cuts so that Barcelona could register players it had signed in the summer.

After its most recent defeat to Bayern, Laporta released a video pleading with the club's supporters to "trust and support" the team.

"I am as disappointed as upset as all of you are," he said. "I need to tell you what is happening is one of the situations we expected.

"And I asked you for your patience and that you continue supporting our team. I also ask for your trust in us, [and] the people who are managing the club.

"We need your trust and time, and do not doubt that we will solve this situation."

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