They were more than expected to make it there, a lot was invested, and they had the groups that could make it happen, but they ultimately failed. Barcelona is heading to the Europa League and could be joined by Juventus and Atletico Madrid after all three failed to qualify for the next stage of the Champions League.
BARCA BACK-TO-BACK EUROPA & INEVITABILITY FOR THE OTHERS
In the subtitle, we say Barcelona are heading to the Europa and used ‘could’ for Juventus and Atletico, simply because they’ve been so bad that they haven’t even made it to the Europa League yet.
We’ll start with Barcelona who according to Laporta said “Barcelona are BACK”, well what a joke of a statement this has turned out to be, they only went back to where they were last season. They had arguably the best transfer window in the summer, which saw them bring in so many marquee names that brought back hopes and promises regarding returning to the summit of European football, but it’s the same story as last year.
they were already eliminated about 30 minutes before they could ever kick the football yesterday evening, and considering who they were up against just made it all the more embarrassing as they couldn’t put in a good performance. Bayern was always going to get something off Barcelona and they put in a much better performance than the last time the two teams met.
Many will look to Barcelona to point fingers and laugh, maybe due to the amount of money they invested but it needs reminding that Juventus and Atletico haven’t even made it there yet.
Juventus has been underwhelming since the start of the season, they picked up wins in their last two league games against Torino and Empoli which ultimately saw them remain in 8th place in the Serie A standings, but against the league leaders of Portugal, they collapsed woefully. Allegri as we said a couple of articles ago is the luckiest man to still have his job and with yesterday’s result, we remain clear on that stance.
Don’t mind the scoreline looking close, Benfica dismantled this Juventus side and was only unfortunate not to have scored more goals. Their players are ageing, their summer signings haven’t been on the pitch much, and that monster-size Chiesa- shaped hole hasn’t been able to be covered yet. No excuse for Allegri as we as his methods and style of play have been deemed out-of-date in today’s football.
Diego Simeone Atletico on the other hand had arguably the less tough group among the three teams we talk of today, but could only manage to win just one of the games. They look okay in the league but absolutely shambolic on the bigger stage. He has been there long enough that he has become the villain, it’s just a morph as to how they and Juventus were only that Juve had a much bigger fall.
At the death, they had the chance to keep their Champions League hopes alive. It was the 99th minute. But Yannick Carrasco saw his penalty saved, Saul saw his rebound hit the crossbar, and Atletico saw their hopes go up in smoke.