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Barcelona battered by Benfica as pressure on Koeman mounts

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LISBON (Reuters) -Barcelona were humbled 3-0 by Benfica on Wednesday to pile the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman with the Spanish 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.

“At the end of the day, they easy thing is getting rid of the coach, but we are all responsible. The truth is we’re in a critical situation,” Barca captain Sergio Busquets said.

“We’re only two games into the group stage. We need to focus on improving. 

“We need to win our next two games against Dynamo Kiev and see how the other two get on. There’s a long way to go and we need to try and be positive.”

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.

Reuters

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