Pressure on Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has increased after the club made their worst start to a Champions League season with a 3-0 defeat at Benfica.
Barcelona were just three minutes behind in Portugal when Darwin hit Nunez on the near post.
Eleven minutes before the end of the game, after Rafa Silva’s goal in the second half, he added a penalty to match the score that Bayern Munich beat in Group E’s first game against Barca.
Eric Garcia was sent off too late to forget Barcelona’s night.
The Catalans are already five points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid domestically and are now facing a tough battle. If they fail to qualify for the Champions League knockout round, this will be the case for the first time since 2003/04.
Barca’s sad statistic
- Barcelona lost their first two games in a UEFA European Championship for the first time since the 1972/73 UEFA Cup when they lost both games to FC Porto and were eliminated.
- Despite managing only eight Champions League group games as Barcelona coach, only Louis van Gaal (5 out of 32 games) has lost more such games with Barca than Ronald Koeman (3 out of 8 games).
- Barcelona have lost four of the last five Champions League games (U1), as many as in the last 39 games (S25 U10 U4).
- Only one team has ever reached the Champions League knockout round after losing their first two group games by -6 or worse, as Barcelona did this season – Lyon in 2007-08 that did the Round of 16 reached.
Bayern beat up Dynamo Kiev
Group E leaders Bayern Munich were in a class of their own when they beat Dynamo Kiev 5-0 at the Allianz Arena. Robert Lewandowski added two more to his season. The Polish striker has already scored 13 goals in nine games this season.
Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also made the scorers list as Bayern drove to a win that put them two points ahead of the pool and underscored their status as key contenders for the crown.
English sites are catching up
Atalanta moved up to the top of the group with a 1-0 win over Young Boys. Matteo Pessina scored for the hosts, who had limited their Swiss guests to just three shots on goal during the game.
The Young Boys are now level with Manchester United, one point behind the Italian side after Cristiano Ronaldo’s last-breath heroics brought them victory over Villarreal.
Chelsea also have to make up ground after losing to leaders Juventus in Group H.
In this group, too, Zenit St. Petersburg – which is now tied with Chelsea on three points – won a club record in the Champions League by beating Malmö four times, whose cause was also due to Anel Ahmedhodzic’s red card in 58. Minute was not helped.
In Group G, Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi was the youngest player to score two penalties in a single Champions League game when the 19-year-old helped his club to a 2-1 home win against Lille, which responded through Burak Yilmaz.
And Ivan Rakitic made a late equalizer for Sevilla when they drew 1-1 in the other game in the group in Wolfsburg. The Croatian converted after being sent off for Wolfsburg’s Josuha Guilavogui five minutes from time.