Champions League: Barça is eliminated, Lille and Salzburg qualified

The mission was impossible: FC Barcelona were again swept 3-0 by Bayern in Munich on Wednesday for the last day of the Champions League, and found themselves eliminated in the group stage of C1 for the first time in 20 years.

The Catalans wanted to “write history” and snatch their ticket for the round of 16 on the ground of the Munich ogre, who has not lost at home in the group stage of C1 for eight years, but the march was too high. They will therefore have to continue their continental journey in the Europa League, which they will join in the round of 16.

While at the same time, Benfica Lisbon qualified by defeating Dynamo Kiev 2-0, Barça sank again in Bavaria, three months after the 3-0 conceded at Camp Nou and a year and a half after the terrible 8-2 inflicted by the Munich to the Catalans in Lisbon.

Jewel of Sané

Xavi’s men conceded a first goal from Thomas Müller, who signed a lobed header after a cross from Robert Lewandowski (34th). Then a second, a jewel of Leroy Sané (42nd), who armed a heavy strike from 30 meters that Marc-André Ter Stegen could not stop just before the break (43rd). And a third, in the 62nd minute, by Jamal Musiala, served by Alphonso Davies, who previously erased Ronald Araujo on his left side.

Barça, powerless, has never managed to endanger the block of Julian Nagelsmann, already assured of his qualification as first in Group E. Even the French winger Ousmane Dembélé, finally holder after getting rid of his physical glitches and who represented the only ounce of hope on the Blaugrana side, failed to alert Manuel Neuer.

Result: this is the first time that Barça will not appear among the 16 teams qualified in the knockout stages of the Champions League since 2003-2004, year in which he did not qualify for the C1 after finishing 6th in the Champions League. Liga.

Worse: it had been more than 20 years since the Catalan club had been eliminated from the group stage. The last time was at the start of the millennium, during the 2000-2001 season: the Catalans finished 3rd in Group H behind AC Milan and Leeds.

Müller, top 10

On the contrary, in its stadium behind closed doors due to the health situation, Bayern continued, chaining a 6th success in 6 matches and sealing a perfect group stage, with 22 goals scored.

If this is the first match where Lewandowski has remained silent this season in C1, Thomas Müller, himself, illustrated himself: his pricked head allowed him to reach the bar of 50 goals scored in C1, and to make an entry shattering in the top ten of the best scorers in the history of the queen of European competitions, ahead of Madrid’s Alfredo di Stéfano (49 goals) and an achievement from French Thiery Henry (8th with 51 goals).

And the score could have been even heavier: Bayern missed several clear chances, like the offering made by Musiala to Müller in the 18th minute or the failed recovery of Lewandowski in front of Ter Stegen in the 28th. minute.

For Xavi, the situation is getting worse: the Catalan coach who returned to the club in November will have to find the words to overcome this new disillusionment, and will also be deprived for some time of the left side Jordi Alba, hit in the right thigh and who gave in his place from the 30th minute to Oscar Mingueza on Wednesday night.

Atalanta-Villarreal postponed

Who will take the train with Manchester United, guaranteed to finish first even before their 1-1 draw in Bern against Young Boys? The answer will not be known until Thursday as the match between Atalanta and Villarreal, rivals for second place in Group F, was postponed on Wednesday due to heavy snow falling on Bergamo.

The Italians are looking to reach the round of 16 for the third season in a row while the Spaniards, led by Unai Emery, dream of a first qualification since the 2008/09 season.

In the other meeting, the Red Devils took off in Switzerland thanks to Mason Greenwood (9th), despite a strongly reshaped team. The new trainer Ralf Rangnick has indeed decided to rest several executives such as David de Gea, Harry Maguire Bruno Fernandes or Cristiano Ronaldo. The Young Boys equalized shortly before the break through Fabian Rieder, insufficient to allow the Swiss to hope for anything other than 4th place.

Lille strong head

In the cold of Wolfsburg, Lille did not tremble against the German “Wolves”, crunched 3-1. However, he weighed heavily on them in this undecided Group D until the last day, when all the teams could still claim qualification.

Six months after winning an unexpected French league title, LOSC climbed into the European top 16 for the second time in its history, 15 years after a narrowly lost double confrontation against Manchester United (0-1, 0- 1), in the round of 16 of the 2006/07 edition.

Burak Yilmaz (11th), Jonathan David (72nd) and Angel Gomes (78th) allowed France to place a second representative in C1 in the spring, a rare performance over the past decade.

The Austrians of Salzburg advance for the first time to the round of 16 after beating Sevilla 1-0, transferred to the Europa League. The Spaniards know this “small” European Cup well for having won it six times (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020).

La Juve double Chelsea

Hooked in added time by the Zenith in Saint Petersburg (3-3), Chelsea were blown away first in Group H by Juventus Turin, victorious out of a match within their reach against Malmö (1-0 ).

The English European champions leave Russia with a hangover, surprised in the 94th minute by a sublime recovery from the incoming Magomed Ozdoyev which left them speechless. 3,000 kilometers away, the supporters of Juve exploded with joy at the announcement of the result.

The only goal of Moïse Kean in the first period was enough for their happiness. The Italians end the group stage with 15 points, two more than Chelsea.

For their part, the West London team can bite their fingers after seeing first place, synonymous with a more affordable draw, slip away in the last moments. Scorer after 82 seconds (2nd, 1-0), Timo Werner had nevertheless believed to offer a decisive advantage to the Blues (85th, 3-2) …

Le onze you Bavaria: Neuer, Pavard, Upamecano, Sule, Davies, Tolisso, Musiala, Sané, Coman, Muller, Lewandowski
Barça’s eleven: ter Stegen, Alba, Araujo, Lenglet, Dest, Piqué, Busquets, de Jong, Gavi, Dembélé, Depay

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Champions League: Barça is eliminated, Lille and Salzburg qualified