NEW SEASON, SAME STORY
To first sight, a beating 3 -0 by Bayern was an improvement for Barcelona. The last time they faced the German champions in the Big Cup they had an acidic trip in the form of football, loser 8- 2 and allowing their own £ 100million player to rub the bratwurst in injuries with two goals behind them. But at least then, there had been a hint of excitement and a minimum of waiting. Fast forward a little over a year and Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and All Hope have abandoned them. They had five shots on target last year in Lisbon. Tuesday night, they didn 't have any. Home.
"This is what it is and we are what we are, ”sniffed Gerard Pique, after the match. It's the kind of defeatist comment we'll likely mumble later when The Man asks, "Is that it? " And the seriousness of the Catalans 'decline was laid bare when, in the final moments of the game , fans who were mesmerized by Pepball's rhythmic passage, treated their big old stadium like a Spanish branch of Clowntown , cheering on every touch as a giant beach ball was whipped aroundthe bleachers. Ah Ronald! Oh Barça!
Remember, history shows that the little runaway Argentina may not have changed events much. Equally disastrous have been the last two Big Cup results at home: a 4-1 bombardment by Messi's new employers and a 3-0 pumping by Juventus. No Messi, no problem. Barca are always open to European wedgies, guys. With a club in debt of 1.35 billion euros, mired in a knack crisis and led by a manager that Everton chose to replace by David Unsworth - then Sam Allardyce! - it looks like the Camp Nou beach ball is making more than a few outings.
The same goes for the "Koeman Out" banner which was briefly seen before the heavy hand the stewards stole it. And expect Joan Laporta's videos calling for patience to become a normal thing too. The only positive point for Barcelona was that at the end of the match, a collection of uneven teenagers jumped off the bench and did a much better job with Bayern than their older teammates, who proved to be as helpful as the overgrown Weebles. If Barca can stop more wealthy European clubs In money - like, say, Leicester - to steal them, Gavi, Yusuf Demir, Nicolas Gonzalez Iglesias and Pedri could form the basis of a brilliant new Barcelona squad. In the meantime, expect cries of " Muchachos, es Barça! When the teams come to town.
Join Simon Burnton from 8 p.m. BST for some hot MBM coverage of Liverpool 2-1 Milan, whilethat Gregg Bakowski will be on hand for Manchester City 2-1 RB Leipzig .
"The second goal falls on Josh Coulson 's side and it ' s an unforgivable goal. But am I going to stay here and fire the players? No ”- after a 3-2 home loss to previously winless Aldershot left them 16th in the National League, Southend boss Phil Brown belatedly takes a rabbit out of the hat.
The latest Football Weekly podcast fell .
"If Young Boys manager David Wagner decides to play his slightly older players in the return leg at Old Trafford, Manchester United will be in real trouble . In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to that they win the Big Cup and then face Newell 's Old Boys in the Club World Cup final "- Adrian Brodkin.
" As a Lifetime Evertonian, may I object strongly to 'The Ev ' ( Five from yesterday )? I mean, I know The Fiver has limited vocabulary, but are three syllables really too hard? Although I look forward to your new (and appropriate) diminutive for the Gunners… "- Nick Shimmin.
" In a moment of weakness, I re-subscribed to The Fiver today, as my subion had sort of gone down a few years ago, and I had just noticed it. With a feeling of excitement moved, II read the most recent edition, only to find, in the letters section, a missive from Noble François. Have I really missed something in the past two years? The more things change indeed ”- Ross McLaren.
Send your letters to [email protected] . And you can still tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport . Today 's winner of our priceless letter of the day is… Adrian Brodkin.
Over 96 footballers and their family members have flee across the Afghan with thehelp from the Pakistan Football Association.
Jordan Henderson paid a well-deserved tribute to Milan and Denmark's Simon Kjær, ahead of their Big Cup visit to Anfield. “He set new standards of leadership during [Not] Euro 2020 when Christian Eriksen fell ill. I can't even begin to imagine what this experience was like for Danish players and I am extremely relieved that Christian continues to recover, but as captain I couldn't help but be impressed with the way Simon behaved and led his team… I hope Simon also knows that he has the respect and admiration of everyone in football for what he did that night. "
Leeds appeal against red card shown to Pascal Struijk on Sunday failed . "Sorry for this Pascal "said the man who received the challenge, Harvey Elliott of Liverpool, with some confusion. " I think that 's not true. "
PSG sporting director Leonardo believes Kylian Mbappe is at PSG to stay. " I don't think anyone here sees the future without him "he shouted." I don't see Kylian leaving at the end of this season. Mbappe's relationship with PSG is deep. "
The USA! UNITED STATES!! UNITED STATES!!! The Football Federation has announced that it is offering the target identical contract proposals to the associations of players of the men's and women's national teams.
And Walter Mazzarri signed a contract for three years to take over as Cagliari coach, all the excuses we need to unearth one of the all-time fan signs.
"Solskjær sought to shine the spotlight on the referee 32-year-old for failing to award Ronaldo a penalty early in the second half. When it comes to people promoted to important roles in football with only the most negligible experience, he it's probably best to use their own judgment "- Jonathan Liew in great shape on [email protected] misfortunes .
Tommy T channels Bucks Fizz and their award-winning 1981 Eurovision hit hit Making Your Mind Up? Kind of. Jacob Steinberg explains everything after their Big Cup victory over Zenit.
You remember Hernan's sumptuous second goal Crespo against Liverpool in the 2005 Big Cup final? Emmet Gates does it .
The longest spell a player has had before scoring? Knowledge has the answer .
Landon Donovan chatting with Cesar Hernandez .
John Stones was in it. Then outside. Then in. Now he is out again. What happens then, thought Ben McAleer .
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