LISBON, Aug 16: The postmortem from Gerard Pique was as brutal as the humiliation dished to Barcelona by Bayern Munich.
�It�s a disastrous result,� the defender said.
�An embarrassment, that�s the word.�
The numbers were 8-2.
Another number? 74. It�s that many years since Barcelona conceded as many goals in a game.
�We have hit rock bottom,� Pique said in a television interview on the field after Friday�s loss dumped the five-time winners out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals.
Unlike the capitulations in the previous two seasons � against Roma and Liverpool � there was no first-leg lead to throw away.
Not even Lionel Messi could save Barcelona at the end of a season in which he has seemed increasingly agitated by the disarray. This was a night of utter misery in Lisbon in the pandemic-enforced single-game reformatting of a knockout stage that has never seen a team lose so heavily in the Champions League era.
If it wasn�t embarrassing enough, Barcelona had to watch Philippe Coutinho inflict the final blows and make the collapse all the more painful. The German champions were already cruising into the semifinals with a 5-2 lead when Coutinho was sent on for the final 15 minutes.
The Brazilian found time for an assist � pinging the ball to the head of the unmarked Robert Lewandowski � and then to score twice himself against a goalkeeper he knows so well.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is still Coutinho�s team-mate. The 160 million euros forward remains not only Barca�s record signing but still their player. He�s only on loan at Bayern for this season after struggling to settle at the parent club he joined from Liverpool in 2018 as the supposed heir to Andres Iniesta. � AP