Barcelona came into the game with revenge on their mind, having lost each of their previous four meetings with Bayern Munich. They had momentum heading into the encounter, having won five of their six matches in all competitions this season.
Xavi made some interesting selections for the game, handing starts to ex-Chelsea duo Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso. The Barça head coach also recalled his heavy hitters like Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele and Pedri after benching them against Cadiz.
Barcelona were easily the better team in the opening exchanges and should have taken the lead well before the halfway mark in the first half. But Manuel Neuer made two good saves to deny Pedri and Lewandowski, while the latter also missed a great chance in between.
Bayern did not create much of note, with a tame effort from Noussair Mazraoui being their only effort on target. Lewandowski had another great opportunity to put Barça ahead but his shot was blocked while Dembele had a penalty claim waved off as halftime arrived.
Raphinha sent a strike inches wide seconds after the restart. Bayern Munich substitute Leon Goretzka forced a top save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen minutes later. And from the resulting corner, Bayern Munich broke the deadlock through Lucas Hernandez in the 50th minute.
Buoyed by the opener, the Bavarians kept coming at their hosts and Leroy Sane made it 2-0 with a fine individual effort four minutes later. Pedri came close to pulling a goal back but his chip over Neuer hit the outside of the post.
In the end, it was the case of Barcelona ruing the missed opportunities in the first half as Bayern displayed their clinical nature soon after the break to pick up a fifth win in a row against the Blaugrana.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5
Easy save from Mazraoui’s effort in the first half and then made a fine stop to deny Goretzka. Caught in no man’s land for the first goal as he did not come out completely nor stayed on his line.
Jules Kounde: 6.5
Reinstated at right-back ahead of Hector Bellerin after being rested against Cadiz. Delivered one good cross into the box before moving into the centre-back role close to half-time. Moved to right-back again in the second half but did not have any notable impact as such, although he was solid defensively.
Ronald Araujo: 6
Started at centre-back and kept things tight around the box along with his partner, while playing the ball forward effectively. Moved to right-back in the latter stages of the first period before returning to his centre-back role in the second half. Should have done better for the second goal. Not his most imposing display.
Andreas Christensen: 7
Surprise starter considering Eric Garcia has been Xavi’s preferred option alongside Araujo. Made a few vital blocks in the first half and kept the hosts at bay. The Dane did his bit well, winning all of his duels and was not at fault for the goals, before being taken off for Eric with twenty minutes left.
Marcos Alonso: 7
Bold call by Xavi to hand Alonso his first start in such a high-profile clash. Fine cross to set Lewandowski up for a chance and did well even though there were one or two moments of concern against Leroy Sane in the first half. Should have been tighter to Hernandez for the goal.
Started the game with great intensity, putting relentless pressure on the opposition and forcing errors on the ball and winning back possession. Was brilliant on the ball as well, as he did well to tee up Lewandowski for a chance after setting Pedri up for his saved effort.
Sacrificed by the manager in the second half as he seemed to lose his composure following Bayern’s double strike in four minutes.
Sergio Busquets: 6
Bayern tried to put him under pressure and there was a moment of concern just two minutes in, but the Barcelona captain recovered and was calm and composed as ever. Did well to thwart Musiala’s run and won back possession regularly thereafter.
Booked early in the second half for a foul on Musiala. Failed to exert himself after the break, with the introduction of Goretzka tipping the scales in the hosts’ favour.
Back into the lineup after being benched over the weekend, Pedri had the first big chance of the night but saw his effort saved by Neuer. Oozed class and composure every time he was on the ball, while not being shy about working hard off it.
Created a chance for Lewandowski late in the first half and another for Raphinha early in the second, before hitting the outside of the post with a cheeky dinked effort. By far the best Barcelona player on the field and deserved so much more. Unfortunate.
The Brazilian seemed overwhelmed by the occasion early on. Involved in an intense duel with Alphonso Davies with neither willing to give the other an inch. But it was the Canadian who came out on top.
Raphinha came close with a low drilled effort before swapping flanks with Dembele at the half-hour mark. Returned to the right after the break and saw another effort miss narrowly. Taken off soon after Bayern made it 2-0. A humbling outing for the Brazilian.
Robert Lewandowski: 5
Returning to his old stomping ground, Lewandowski almost played Raphinha through for a chance. Could have done better after Neuer gifted him the ball with a poor pass before firing over the bar from a great position. Had a header saved soon after.
Apart from a tame effort straight at Neuer, Lewandowski did little of note in the second half. Not the most enjoyable return to Bavaria for the 34-year-old as Barcelona came to rue his missed chances.
Ousmane Dembele: 5
Started the move leading to Lewandowski’s chance in the first half with a fine run. Looked dangerous after moving to the right flank and had a penalty claim denied. Made a mazy run in the second half but the move fizzled out as he could not find a teammate.
Tracked back well but it was a subpar display overall as his final ball was lacking more often than not, while he lost the ball a whopping 25 times before making way for Ansu Fati.
Frenkie de Jong: 6
On for Gavi at the hour mark. Driving runs from midfield caused some issues.
Ferran Torres: 5
Replaced Raphinha in the 60th minute. Not involved a great deal even as Barcelona fought for a way back into the game. Had an effort go wide after a deflection.
Eric Garcia: 5
Thrown on in place of Christensen with 20 minutes left. Did little of note.
Ansu Fati: N/A
On for Dembele in the 79th minute.
Franck Kessie: N/A
Sent on for Busquets with ten minutes left.