BAYERN 2 BARCELONA 0
Barcelona just a sparring partner for dominant Bayern
Bayern were absolutely on top for the whole of a match in which it was a miracle Barcelona avoided being thrashed. Lahm and Mandzukic got the goals for the Germans.
There was a time when the teams who faced Barcelona in the pre-season were just sparring partners: a reference point on which to tune up the orchestra. For whatever reason (medical, timing...) Barcelona have gone from prize fighter to crash test dummy. The game in the Allianz Arena should go down in the assets column of the hashtag #thanksPep, because if Bayern had made just a little effort they could have utterly broken Barcelona. The Germans won 2-0 while giving the feeling that if they tried they could have won 8-0. The fact that Oier Olazabal finished as Barça captain tells everything. The contract setting up this friendly should be in a museum. The Bayern museum, clearly.
This game served absolutely no purpose for those trying to reach a conclusion about Barcelona. Heading to Bayern was an utter suicide mission that was only softened because Bayern approached the game as if Barcelona were the team of barmen from Papendal who happily accepted getting cuffed by Cruyff’s team in the 90s. For Guardiola’s team the game was a training session, for Nike and Adidas it was an advert for the new strips and for Sandro Rosell it was a hard time he managed to avoid by escaping through a cat flap.
An example of how little the game was taken seriously was the fact that the fans were already doing a Mexican wave in the first minute and that Lahm scored a header in the six yard box. Almost certainly the first headed goal of his life. A sign that with Guardiola on the bench he’ll go mad or win the Ballon d’Or.
About Barça, there’s not much to say, and almost none of it good. Song’s overweight, Montoya appears not to have realised he has the chance of his life right there for the taking, ditto for Bartra, Alexis is still on holiday and Mascherano is living proof of the need to sign a full back. On the plus side: when Messi got going he looked dangerous and Tello is as cheeky as ever. Apart from that it only remains to say thanks to Guardiola for not taking Barça to pieces. Martino has a lot of work ahead. His first job is to convince Barcelona that they aren’t the sparring partner.