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HomeChampions LeagueNagelsmann: "I can sympathise with Barça".

Nagelsmann: “I can sympathise with Barça”.

Robert Lewandowski will probably have to continue playing in the Europa League in the new year – not least FC Bayern could see to that. But that doesn’t change Julian Nagelsmann’s opinion of Barça.

The fact that Robert Lewandowski – by relentless professional football standards – is no longer the youngest, he did not let on with his brace on Wednesday night. But there’s no denying it: Lewandowski has yet to play in the UEFA Cup.

Two years before his move to Borussia Dortmund in 2010, the then youngster played eight times for Lech Poznan in the predecessor to the Europa League, which he also got to know in six appearances as a BVB professional in 2010/11. Since then, the two have lost sight of each other, but an unexpected reunion beckons in 2023, which only one side will be looking forward to: the Europa League.

Because FC Barcelona did not manage more than a 3-3 draw against Inter Milan on the fourth Champions League matchday, it all boils down to Lewandowski, the third-highest scorer in the history of the competition, finishing third in Group C with his new employers. Inter need just one more win to follow FC Bayern into the last 16, and Italy’s top club host Viktoria Plzen in a fortnight’s time.

Nagelsmann on Barça: “Had a similar situation in the Bundesliga “

Only if Inter pick up a maximum of one point in the remaining two matchdays and Barça win against Bayern and in Pilsen, Lewandowski can still avoid the Europa League (excluding a theoretically possible drop to fourth place). This also means that FC Bayern can personally send their long-time goal scorer out of the Champions League on 26 October at the Camp Nou.

“Yeah, sure”, Thomas Müller also finds this constellation piquant. His coach, who had received rebukes from Barcelona and Munich in the summer for his too brash opinion about the Catalans’ financial behaviour, held back this time, however, preferring to verbally put an arm around Lewandowski and his new colleagues.

“Of course I look more at us. Still, I can sympathise with that, especially after Barça’s game with us, because we had a similar situation in the Bundesliga,” Julian Nagelsmann said after his own 4-2 win in Pilsen. What he meant was that when Bayern had beaten the Catalans 2-0 on matchday two, the latter had suffered a similar fate to the former in some of their Bundesliga appearances – the keyword being chance exploitation.

Barça remain an attractive “top team” for Nagelsmann

“Barça,” Nagelsmann recalled, “were clearly better than us in the first half. They missed three chances – if they score all three, it will be difficult for us to come back. And then it took its revenge: we were better in the second half, had two chances and made both of them.”

Nagelsmann did not let on that he would presumably be happy not to face Barça again in the knockout round. Firstly, he also considers Inter to be a “very unpleasant team”, and secondly, Barça remains a “top team” for him, which has “upgraded very well” under a “very good coach”, i.e. Xavi, and plays “very good football”. “Regardless of whether they get to the knockout stage or are eliminated, I still think they are very, very good to watch again. They will challenge us a lot in Barcelona. “



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