Champions League 2022/23: Barcelona left to rue their chances against Bayern while Liverpool secure a late win over Ajax
Barcelona and Bayern Munich headlined the statement clash of the UEFA Champions League group
stages on Tuesday night at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The two teams have had quite the history
with Bayern putting Barcelona through the wringer on multiple occasions, including the now-
infamous 8-2 defeat in 2020.
While that familiar theme of disappointment and dejection struck once again as the Catalan giants
fell to a 2-0 loss, this time their demons were of their making. Objectively speaking, Barcelona were
comfortably the better side of the two and they actually had the Bayern players rattled in the first
Having gotten on the end of several glorious opportunities, Robert Lewandowski, returning to the
Allianz Arena for the first time as an opposition player in eight years, and young starlet Pedri, failed
to make them count. Lewandowski, scorer of a hattrick in the opening match against Viktoria Plzen
at the Camp Nou, didn’t seem to have his scoring boots on while Pedri saw his effort being saved by
Manuel Neuer once and being denied by the woodwork in the second half.
There was a legitimate penalty call on Ousmane Dembele too as Alphonso Davies seemed to clip his
heels from behind in an attempt to steal the ball. VAR didn’t exactly take a good look at it as the
referee waved play-on but Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez’s post-match admission on it being a
penalty did more than clear any doubts.
The hosts took the lead of the game against the run of play after Hernandez headed home in the
second half following a fine corner from Joshua Kimmich that left both Marcos Alonso and Marc
Andre Ter Stegen confused. Experts at going for the killer blow, Leroy Sane then ran through a
momentarily shaky Barcelona defence and made it 2-0 on the night.
10 minutes of bad football saw Xavi’s side losing control of the game and even though they created
opportunities later as well, they could not claw their way back into the game and were left to rue
their missed chances. It’s quite clear that Barcelona have come a long way from what they were a
year ago but they need to be more clinical in big games going forward.
Elsewhere, Liverpool secured a late 2-1 triumph over Ajax at home. Mohamed Salah opened the
scoring inside 17 minutes while Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus restored parity just 10 minutes later. While
it seemed that the match would end with that scoreline, Joel Matip scored the all-important winning
goal a minute before the end of regulated time to seal victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.