Belfast Telegraph

Early exit has spared Premier League blushes

Those still regretting the demise of British clubs in the Champions League should perhaps be counting their blessings.

Total humiliation could easily have been the reward should any of our clubs have made it through.

 Why? Well you won’t be asking the question if you tuned in for Barcelona against AC Milan this time last week. It was, by a country mile, the best game I’ve seen this season.

The Italians may have lost but they were still excellent and, at 0-3, I still thought them well capable of scoring the away goal and qualifying.

 But Barcelona were absolutely brilliant, unstoppable. And Messi was the best of the best. I’m still smiling, enjoying that wonder strike of the Argentine after five minutes.

When was the last time you saw a goal as good as that? It was the lack of back-lift that took my breath away and you had to see replay after replay to confirm your eyes hadn’t betrayed you.

I think the Barca performance actually impacted on Bayern’s less than impressive display the following night. The Germans are a very good team but they how will they ever compete with the Catalans?

Though I’m sure Barcelona will be terrified that David Beckham will be sitting on the Paris St Germain bench!

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