At the end, Barcelona fans stood more impatient with a ball being thrown around in a stand behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s goal than the game at hand.
They were lowered down coldly and viciously into their sad new existence by Bayern Munich, the Germans emerging with a commanding 3-0 win from Camp Nou on Tuesday night in their Champions League opening game.
Football Club Barcelona ceased to muster a single shot on goal, a statistic that highlights the difference between the two teams as if the scoreline alone was not sufficient.
The hosts started the game with a point to prove, their last outing against Bayern that infamous 8-2 from a little over a year ago. They gritted their teeth, but that can only get you so far.
There was a ‘Koeman out’ flag in one stand, knocked over by the club, but it doesn’t feel like it will be a long time before it pops up back up again, and more with it.
The team is not on the status of Europe’s elite, and crucially, neither is the trainer.
Ronald Koeman invoked Chelsea’s Champions League win last campaign as one of the reasons Barcelona could surprise the odds, but he cannot provide half the tactics of Thomas Tuchel.
Perhaps the scoring was restricted to three because Bayern Munich started the game in an uncharacteristically soft fashion, not quite connecting in the attack.
They gradually found their rhythm and began to expend increasingly long stretches in Barcelona territory.
After too several moves broke down just a few yards out from goal, Thomas Muller elected to try something else, and his effort from afar flew in off Eric Garcia’s backside.
HOW FAR THEY HAVE FALLEN.
Koeman, limbs crossed on the sideline, didn’t have many options with his starting line-up because of the team’s stack of injuries. He opted for an uncertain 5-3-2 system, perhaps with the 8-2 beating in mind.
At Camp Nou, it has been many, many years since Barcelona has fiddled so defensively. Many years too that they have begun a game so sure they were statuses below their opponents.