Robert Lewandowski: All you need to know about Polish striker
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Barcelona saw their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League dealt a blow on Tuesday night as they lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. The Catalan giants were undone courtesy of goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane in the second half. Express Sport will now take a look at four players who let Xavi down on the night in Germany, including Robert Lewandowski – who was returning to his old side for the first time since departing back in the summer…
We’ll start with the obvious one.
Lewandowski has been in outstanding form for Barcelona ever since his summer arrival, scoring eight goals in six matches prior to the contest at the Allianz Arena.
But the Poland international was guilty of some poor finishing during the match and, after looking threatening in the first half, then faded into obscurity.
It was an uncharacteristically disappointing display from the 34-year-old, who etched his name into Bayern legend during his time with the Bundesliga giants.
And he’ll be hoping to put his old side to the sword when they meet in the Champions League again on October 26.
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There’s no denying Ronald Araujo has a big future ahead of him, with the Barcelona star one of their shining lights over the past 12 months.
But while he could do nothing to stop Hernandez from opening the scoring, he was guilty of some shambolic defending for Sane’s goal.
The Germany international was able to exploit the space left by Araujo, who was unaware of the former Manchester City star running in behind over his shoulder.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen was also easily-beaten as Sane doubled Bayern’s advantage on the night.
But the goalkeeper would never have faced a one-on-one scenario if Araujo had been sharper at the back in the first place.
Like Lewandowski, Marcos Alonso was good in the first half for Barcelona against Bayern.
Some fans even took to social media to insist the Spain international, who arrived from Chelsea back in the summer, was already better than Jordi Alba.
But though Alonso impressed for the first 45 minutes, he suffered as Bayern started to up the ante after the break.
He was completely switched off for Joshua Kimmich’s corner that allowed Hernandez to head Bayern in front on the night.
It was a simple finish for the France international and Alonso was a guilty culprit, on just his second appearance for the La Liga side.
Ousmane Dembele has been rejuvenated ever since Barcelona hired Xavi as manager, with the France international becoming an undroppable asset over at the Nou Camp.
Prior to the match with Bayern he’d been shining with the 25-year-old scoring two goals and clocking up four assists from six matches.
Yet the former Borussia Dortmund star endured a night to forget.
Though Dembele looked threatening with his speed and pace, the winger was subdued after the interval and offered precious little of note.
Like his team-mates, he’ll be hoping to bounce back when they go up against Elche in La Liga on Saturday afternoon (3.15pm).
Xavi reacts to Bayern defeat
Speaking after his side were beaten in Germany, meanwhile, Xavi rued his side’s failure to score despite dominating the early stages of the match.
“I’m mad because we should have won. We played a match to win,” said the Spaniard.
“Lewandowski missed chances, Pedri got two, Raphinha from outside the box… this is disappointing and unfair.
“Competing means winning corners, closing transitions, or having a chance in front of the goalkeeper and scoring it.
“I’m leaving angry. We had to win today. We have to be more effective in both of the areas.
“You could say that Bayern already have a built team. We’re under construction, only at the beginning of our journey.”
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