Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has said that even the presence of Lionel Messi could have not saved the Spanish club from the 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League 7-0 on aggregate.
They suffered one of the worst home defeats in recent times after suffering a 3-0 loss against Bayern Munich. Barcelona needed to overturn a four goal deficit from the first leg in order to have a chance of playing in the final of the competition. There were extremely poor in the first leg, and they could not prevent Bayern Munich from once again dominating them in the second leg.
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova decided to field Lionel Messi on the bench as the Argentine had not sufficiently recovered from the hamstring injury problem. Messi is widely regarded as one of the best players in the world and Vilanova risked him in the first leg even though he was only partly fit. Messi was not even able to run properly in the first leg, which resulted in Barcelona looking like playing with 10 men for most of the match. In the hope of overturning in deficit, Vilanova replaced Messi with David Villa, but they still suffered a defeat. Pique told the ftbllr soccer blog that Bayern Munich are extremely good and they deserved to go through.
“The fact Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, did not play was a factor. But I do not think [he] would have changed things all that much,” said Pique. “He trained yesterday and today, but he didn’t feel right. He is an explosive player and there was a risk he could tear (his hamstring), so he couldn’t help the team in these conditions. All these years when we have played without Leo we have won games by small margins, but this year in the league we have won games 5-0 and 3-0 without him on the pitch,” said Vilanova.