For the first time since the 2000/01 season, Spanish giants, Barcelona have crashed out of the Champions League following a 3-0 defeat at Bayern Munich.
First-half goals from Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane put the Germans, who won all six matches to top Group E, firmly in the driving seat before Jamal Musiala tapped in the third just past the hour.
It should be noted that the five-time Champions League winners had advanced to at least the round of 16 every time they competed in the Champions League since 2001 but will continue in the second-tier Europa League after ending up third in their group. Benfica qualified as group runners-up with a win over bottom club Dynamo Kyiv.
Speaking after the match, Xavi Hernandez said “Bayern were better, superior.”
“This is the harsh reality we have to face. I have told players that this is a turning-point. Today a new era begins and we have to take Barca where it deserves which is not the Europa League.
“I am frustrated because this is our reality. We start from scratch and we have to get Barca back to fighting for the Champions League. I now feel responsible. Now we have to go out and win the Europa League.”
It would be recalled that Barcelona last went out of the Champions League in the group stage in 2000/01 when a team featuring a 20-year-old Xavi finished third in their section behind AC Milan and Leeds United.
The five-time European champions will now drop into the Europa League knockout-round play-offs in February.
The defeat was Xavi’s second as a Barcelona coach.
Recall that the club had earlier sacked Ronald Koeman following his abysmal performance. A lot of fans are already questioning Xavi’s performance especially since the club has dropped further on the league table since his arrival.
However, many people believe that the club does not have the right players for the coach to deliver results.