Barcelona battered by Benfica as pressure on Koeman mounts

The Catalan club are bottom of Group E with no points from their first two games

Rafa celebrates scoring against Barcelona at Estadio da Luz. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Rafa celebrates scoring against Barcelona at Estadio da Luz. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

 

Benfica 3 Barcelona 0

Barcelona were humbled 3-0 by Benfica on Wednesday to pile the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman with the Catalan club’s Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.

Barca are bottom of Group E with no points from two games, six behind leaders Bayern Munich and four adrift of Benfica.

Things started badly for the Catalans as Darwin Nunez opened the scoring after three minutes with a neat near-post finish.

Lucas Verissima made a last-ditch block to deny Luuk de Jong from close range as Barca looked to get back into the game, but they were second best throughout.

Nunez almost added a second five minutes after the break when he hit the post from distance after beating Marc-Andre ter Stegen to a through ball, but with 21 minutes left Jorge Jesus’s side got their reward as Rafa Silva fired in from close range.

Nunez doubled his tally from the penalty spot on 79 minutes, before a bad night turned worse for Barca when Eric Garcia was sent off for a second yellow card three minutes from time.

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