Barcelona out of Champions League, Liverpool progress
Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday. In fact, the Spanish giants knew their fate before kickoff against Bayern Munich.
Inter Milan thumped Viktoria Plzen 4-0 earlier in the day. A brace from Edin Dzeko highlighted the massive victory for the Italian club. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku also added goals for Inter. Lukaku’s goal, the team’s fourth on the night, was his first strike in over two months. The Belgium international had previously been out of action due to a hamstring injury. The victory by Inter insured that they would progress through the group stage and Barca would be out.
Despite being knockout out of the UCL and sent to the Europa League, Barca still had to face Bayern Munich Wednesday night. The Catalan club were beaten 3-0 at home to the reigning German title holders. It was just the fifth defeat in Barca’s last 46 UCL home matches.
Barcelona out of the Champions League
The five-time UCL champions seemed deflated before the match even started. Former Liverpool star Sadio Mane scored the opener with just nine minutes on the clock. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard added two more goals to further inflict pain on the hosts.
Elsewhere in the competition, Liverpool booked their place in the knockout phase. The Reds beat Ajax 3-0 away from home. Liverpool started the game on the back foot. The hosts failed to capitalize on a plethora of chances inside the opening period.
Despite the slow start, Jurgen Klopp’s men found their feet and finished off the Dutch champions. Mohamed Salah put Liverpool in front just before halftime. The Reds came out of the break on fire, scoring twice in the first seven minutes of the second half.
Liverpool will have a huge matchup with Napoli next week to decide which team tops Group A. The Serie A leaders will travel to Merseyside on Tuesday. Napoli previously smashed the Reds 4-1 in Italy to open UCL group stage play, so Liverpool will need to record a massive win to have a chance to finish first in the group.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire