Barcelona have made their worst start to a Champions League campaign ever; Bayern Munich thrashed Dynamo Kiev; Atalanta moved top of their group ahead of Manchester United and Young Boys; Juventus lead the way in Chelsea’s group as Zenit St Petersburg thrash Malmo.
Pressure has piled up on Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman after the club made their worst-ever start to a Champions League campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Benfica.
Barcelona were behind after just three minutes in Portugal, when Darwin Nunez scored at the near post.
He then added a penalty with 11 minutes to play, after Rafa Silva’s second-half strike, to match the scoreline Bayern Munich beat Barca by in their opening Group E fixture.
To compound Barcelona’s night to forget, Eric Garcia was sent off late on.
The Catalans are already five points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid domestically and now face an uphill struggle. If they do not qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, it will be for the first time since 2003/04.
Barca’s sorry stats
- Barcelona have lost their first two matches in a UEFA European campaign for the first time since the 1972-73 UEFA Cup, when they lost both legs to FC Porto and were eliminated.
- Despite only taking charge of eight Champions League group stage matches as Barcelona manager, only Louis van Gaal (5 in 32 games) has lost more such matches with Barca than Ronald Koeman (3 in 8 games).
- Barcelona have lost four of their last five Champions League matches (D1), as many as they lost in their previous 39 matches (W25 D10 L4).
- Only one team has ever reached the Champions League knockout stages after losing their first two group stage matches with a goal difference of -6 or worse, as Barcelona have this season – Lyon in 2007-08, who reached the last 16.