La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Barcelona reacted to the crushing 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in their Champions League opener at Camp Nou with an emergency meeting. Club president Joan Laporta met with other important figures after the match until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Bayern were by far the superior side and ran riot in Barcelona’s first Champions League game without Lionel Messi since his summer exit.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a fortunate deflected effort from the edge of the box, leaving Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Robert Lewandowski then provided a second-half brace to down Ronald Koeman’s side before a half-empty, soulless Camp Nou.
The most worrying part of the night was that, after losing Messi and allowing Antoine Griezmann to re-join La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, Barcelona failed to register a single shot on target.
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Barcelona fielded four teenagers during the course of the night, including two 17-year-old’s – emphasising Koeman’s diminished ranks.
According to Sport, Barcelona president met with vice-president Rafael Yuste and director of football Mateu Alemany after the match’s conclusion and they talked until 2am.
There is a consensus that several teams are stronger than Barcelona in this season’s Champions League.
But the manner in which the Blaugrana were walked over by the Bundesliga champions on Tuesday has left club figures’ very concerned.’
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A subject of debate in the emergency meeting was Koeman’s defiant decision to field his team in a 3-5-2 formation.
The board had asked the Dutchman to use a 4-3-3 system, but he started Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong as a strike partnership to no avail.
Sport question whether the trio came to an ‘important decision’ during the prolonged meeting, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Laporta was the last individual to depart and snubbed reporters waiting outside the stadium looking for answers.
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Barcelona have made a solid start to their La Liga campaign, winning two and drawing one of their opening three games.
Koeman’s men have an excellent chance to bounce back from the midweek disappointment against 17th-placed Granada at the weekend.
Barcelona then face Cadiz and Levante in the league before travelling to SL Benfica for what is now a crucial Champions League clash.
Despite the mess the club currently find themselves in, a group stage exit wouldn’t be deemed acceptable in the slightest.
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