Barcelona players and staff sounded dejected after Tuesday’s crushing 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the first leg of its UEFA Champions League semifinal series. “Bayern have to be
congratulated. They were very strong and superior to us,” Barca
assistant coach Jordi Roura said during the post-game press conference. “They are a very physical team, tall and strong … it's a bad result and we are down. We know
we're in a difficult position now, but as Barcelona we have to compete in the second leg and try to win. We will give it our all.”
Midfielder Xavi described the defeat as the club’s “worst result ever.” He added: "They were better -- and I don't mind saying that. It's almost impossible [to reach the final]. But we must try to, for this club and for everyone."
Defender Gerard Pique was brutally honest in his assessment. “They're quicker, stronger and play better football,” he said. Amid suggestions that two of Bayern’s goals should not have been allowed by referee Viktor Kassai, Pique said, "We don't need to talk about the referee; I don't think he had an influence."
Perhaps most worrying of all for Barca, is striker Lionel Messi’s admission that he “felt fine” throughout the 90 minutes. By most accounts, Messi looked less than half the player he normally is. Marca said the game would likely go down as the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s worst-ever match.
According to the report, the Argentine striker had a season-high six turnovers, and not once did he receive the ball behind Bayern holding midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez in the 66 times he touched it. Echoing his teammates, Messi said Bayern “beat us in everything” and was simply “superior.”