Barça lick wounds and hope for schadenfreude as Madrid face Dortmund

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Barcelona's battering by Bayern could only have been predicted by the King Egg-Head of experts, the most perspicacious of pundits, the elite of analysts. Like La Liga Loca’s local fishmonger.

When asked yesterday by the blog, the hake-hawker boldly went for a 4-0 home win – a prognosis that duly went into the semi-final preview and duly it came to pass. “A logical conclusion,” said the Salmon-Master coolly, when asked the following morning about his inspiration.

The manner of the defeat was devastating for Barcelona. It wasn’t a fluky loss against a side playing to its strengths, such as last year’s semi-final set-back against Chelsea. Barça weren’t under par against clinical opponents who took their chances, as in as this season’s struggle against Milan.

Bayern give Barça a haddock. Sorry

No, this was a thrashing of the highest order. It was the moment from 2001: A Space Odyssey when apes evolve to such an extent that they learn how much fun there is to be had in whacking their more innocent comrades with bones.

“They were faster, stronger and played better,” admitted Gerard Piqué about a Bayern Munich team who have apparently taken the next evolutionary step. “Practically impossible, but we are going to try,” said a downbeat Xavi Hernández on the chances of a turnaround next week in the Camp Nou.

NEWS, Wed 24 Apr: Barcelona offer little hope of a reaction

The mood in the Catalan capital newspapers is equally sombre, with Sport calling the 4-0 defeat “the saddest night.” “No excuses, they were superior,” wrote Josep Maria Casanovas. “Physically, there was an enormous difference: they are stronger, faster and have more depth. We are not used to these types of defeats and it’s left us wounded.”

Mundo Deportivo's cover screams “Nightmare!” with the paper’s director Santi Nolla rolling with his Spanish football instincts and hinting at a conspiracy. “Yesterday Barça suffered against a superior Bayern and also a referee who was wrong for three of the four goals for the Germans. UEFA are tired of the power of Barça and want a change, but on Tuesday Bayern won, not UEFA.”

With pretty much all hope lost, there’s only one thing that can give Barça a tiny sliver of comfort: the hope of a similar fate befalling Real Madrid in their test at Borussia Dortmund. The omens lean in that direction, with the Spanish side having only won once in Germany in 23 matches. What’s more, in both group games Real Madrid were quite outplayed by Dortmund, picking up just one point from six. And it was a lucky point at that.

NEWS, Wed 24 Oct: Dortmund outclass Real Madrid to top group

Jose Mourinho tried putting the pressure on Jürgen Klopp as early as Friday, noting that the Dortmund coach had been talking about the game every day since the draw was made. After a typically cheerful and self-effacing response from the German manager, Mourinho may have realised that the usual niggling and nagging towards the opposition camp wasn’t going to work this time.

"Bring it, bi-atch"

Instead, the Portuguese gave all four sides an equal chance of winning the Champions League this season – but felt that his footballers deserve the prize the most. “I’d really like football to do justice with these players. Two years ago we were knocked out in an unfair way and last season it was penalties. This team deserves to win a Champions League.”

The fantastic news for Real Madrid fans is that LLL's local fishmonger says they will take a big step towards that goal with a 2-1 win in Dortmund.

In Cod We Trust.