Barcelona started the post-Lionel Messi era in Europe with another dismal result against Bayern Munich, featuring a lifeless 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou.
The last time the two European football giants met, Barcelona had one of the worst nights in their history with an 8-2 quarter-final loss in 2020.
Such an embarrassment was avoided on Tuesday’s Champions League opening night, but Barcelona were still very poor, scoring just five shots with zero on target.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman has clearly set himself up to stifle opposition with five defenders and three central midfielders, but Bayern hardly needed to sweat as Barcelona posed so little danger for the future .
Jamal Musiala, the former England youth international who now represent Germany, continued his excellent start to the season with a fantastic performance.
The 18-year-old forced manager Julian Nagelsmann to start him, and perhaps peaked nostalgia for the fateful Camp Nou with a few Messi-esque runs in the first half.
Thomas Muller finally scored the still-coming goal when his long-distance effort took a huge deflection from Eric Garcia for a 34-minute lead, and it didn’t take much for the Bavarians to maintain their advantage until the pause.
Musiala shone again after half-time, sending a brilliantly successful long-range shot from the post for Robert Lewandowski with just over 10 minutes of play to make it 18 straight games with one goal.
The Pole succeeded a second a few minutes from the end when he again exploited a rebound, recovering the effort of Serge Gnabry who had touched the post, before crushing it at home.
Elsewhere in Group E, Dinamo Kyiv drew 0-0 at home against Benfica, giving Barca high hopes they can still advance to the round of 16 of the competition.