Barcelona succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich at Spotify Camp Nou in their penultimate UEFA Champions League fixture of the ongoing season.
Coming into the contest, the Catalans had learned that they were eliminated from the competition after Inter Milan beat Viktoria Plzen. And knowing their fate seemed to have resulted in the team being not motivated enough as they looked below par in the early exchanges.
Bayern Munich scored twice in the first half through Sadio Mane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard added a late goal to seal an emphatic victory for the Bundesliga champions.
Addressing the media after the game, Barça manager Xavi Hernandez took the responsibility of the Champions League exit upon himself and admitted that it was a reality check for the team.
On the elimination: “We have to face reality. I said that we had to grow through hard blows, we have to keep going.”
“We say goodbye to the Champions League, a blow that forces us to be self-critical. I understand that people are talking about failure, but we have analysed everything. We have made many mistakes, but in the other games we have competed to deserve something more.”
On the loss to Bayern Munich: “Barça didn’t compete today, we didn’t reach Bayern’s level. Bayern were better today, they played more intensely and aggressively.”
On whether Inter’s win affected the team: “The truth is that knowing that we had already been eliminated from the Champions League before the game against Bayern has affected us a lot.”
On the fans’ support: “Today the fans were 10/10 and supported us until the last moment, the least we can offer them is to approach them and thank them. The fans do not deserve this. They have been amazing.”
On the performance: “For the first time this season, I felt like we didn’t compete at all. They overtook us completely. We’re out because our mistakes, nothing else.”
On the goals for the season: “I still think we can and we need to win titles this season. We have to keep going. We have titles to fight for this season.”
On how things panned out for Barcelona in the UCL: “The truth is that this year, unlike the last, I felt like we had the squad to win this tournament. What happened is unacceptable.”
“In Munich, we were better than Bayern and we didn’t take advantage of that. I was affected after the match in Milan. The refereeing decisions were unfair and so was the result.”
On whether La Liga is in decline, with just one team left in UCL: “How can you say that La Liga has declined? Villarreal reached the semis last year and Madrid won the competition. La Liga is at the same level as the Premier League.”
On who is at blame for Barça’s situation: “I am the main one responsible for the elimination.”