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For the first time in 20 years, FC Barcelona are eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage, after their 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, while Benfica Lisbon, Sporting Portugal and Salzburg have won the last tickets. qualifiers, pending the postponed Atalanta-Villarreal result.
Group E: Bayern sweeps Barça
The mission was impossible: FC Barcelona was again swept 3-0 by Bayern in Munich, Wednesday, December 8, for the last day of the Champions League, and found itself eliminated in the group stage of C1 for the first time. for 20 years.
The Catalans wanted to “write history” and snatch their ticket for the 8es finals on the ground of the Munich ogre, who has not bowed at home in the C1 group stage for eight years, but the march was too high. They will therefore have to continue their continental journey in the Europa League, which they will join in 16es final.
While at the same time, Benfica Lisbon qualified by defeating Dynamo Kiev 2-0, Barça sank again in Bavaria, three months after the 3-0 conceded at Camp Nou and a year and a half after the terrible 8-2 inflicted by the Munich to the Catalans in Lisbon.
Xavi’s men conceded a first goal from Thomas Müller, who signed a lobed header after a cross from Robert Lewandowski (34e). Then a second, a jewel of Leroy Sané (42e), who armed a heavy strike from 30 meters that Marc-André ter Stegen could not stop just before the break (43e). And a third, at 62e minute, by Jamal Musiala, served by Alphonso Davies, who previously obliterated Ronald Araujo on his left side.
Barça, powerless, has never managed to endanger the block of Julian Nagelsmann, already assured of his qualification as first in Group E. Even the French winger Ousmane Dembélé, finally holder after getting rid of his physical glitches and who represented the only ounce of hope on the Blaugrana side, failed to alert Manuel Neuer.
Result: this is the first time that Barça will not be among the 16 teams qualified in 8es Champions League final since 2003-2004, year in which he did not qualify for the C1 after finishing 6e of Liga. Worse: it had been more than 20 years since the Catalan club had been eliminated from the group stage. The last time was at the start of the millennium, during the 2000-2001 season: the Catalans had finished 3es of Group H behind AC Milan and Leeds.
Group F: snow forces Atalanta and Villarreal to postpone
Who will take the train with Manchester United, guaranteed to finish first even before their 1-1 draw in Bern against Young Boys? The answer will only be known on Thursday, as the game between Atalanta and Villarreal, rivals for second place in Group F, was postponed on Wednesday due to heavy snow falling on Bergamo.
The Italians are looking to reach the round of 16 for the third season in a row while the Spaniards, led by Unai Emery, dream of a first qualification since the 2008/09 season.
In the other meeting, the Red Devils took off in Switzerland thanks to Mason Greenwood (9e), despite a heavily overhauled team. The new trainer Ralf Rangnick has indeed decided to rest several executives such as David de Gea, Harry Maguire Bruno Fernandes or Cristiano Ronaldo. The Young Boys equalized shortly before the break through Fabian Rieder, insufficient to allow the Swiss to hope for anything other than the 4e square.
Group G: Salzburg qualified for the first time in its history
RB Salzburg advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time: the Austrian club won against Sevilla FC 1-0 at the end of the group stage, and finished second behind Lille.
While a draw was enough for them, the Austrians ensured the blow by beating the Sevillians at home, and come out of a group where they were not favorites for qualification (10 points), behind Losc (11 pts) .
However, it was Seville who dominated the first period, generally lackluster. Julen Lopetegui’s men even got the best chance of the match at the start of the second half by Munir, whose head at close range hit the crossbar (48e). But in the process (50e), it was Salzburg who opened the scoring thanks to the Swiss Noah Okafor (21), left alone by the Sevillian defense, who victoriously took over a cross from Adeyemi (19).
Group H: Juve steals 1st place from Chelsea
Hooked in added time by the Zenith in Saint Petersburg (3-3), Chelsea were blown away first in Group H by Juventus Turin, victorious out of a match within their reach against Malmö (1-0 ).
The English European champions leave Russia with a hangover, surprised in the 94e minute by a sublime cover of the incoming Magomed Ozdoev which left them speechless. 3,000 kilometers away, the supporters of Juve exploded with joy at the announcement of the result.
Moise Kean’s only goal in the first half was enough for their happiness. The Italians end the group stage with 15 points, two more than Chelsea.
For its part, the West London team can bite their fingers after seeing the first place, synonymous with a more affordable draw, slip away in the last moments. Scorer after 82 seconds (2e, 1-0), Timo Werner had nevertheless believed to offer a decisive advantage to the Blues (85e, 3-2) …