Lisbon (AFP) – Philippe Coutinho’s late two-goal cameo against Barcelona in Bayern Munich’s jaw-dropping 8-2 quarter-final victory Friday inflicted further misery on a club that splashed out a record 160 million euros ($189.5 million) to sign the Brazilian in January 2018.
Coutinho set up Robert Lewandowski and then netted the final two goals himself to put the seal on a remarkable Bayern display which saw them become the first team in the modern Champions League era to score eight goals in a knockout match.
Albeit against a dispirited Barca defence, Coutinho’s thrilling 15-minute performance will be all the more galling for his parent club after a disappointing 18 months in Catalonia following his trumpeted move from Liverpool.
“For someone like Philippe to come on and score two goals shows what quality we have in the squad,” said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, as Barca conceded eight goals for the first time since losing to Sevilla 8-0 in the 1946 Spanish Cup.
An underwhelming return of 21 goals in 76 games prompted Barca to ship Coutinho, the club’s record transfer, out on loan to Bayern this season as the forward sought to reboot a floundering career.
The 28-year-old has shown glimpses of his former self in Germany but again struggled at times for consistency, while an ankle injury has limited him to just a handful of substitute appearances since the season resumed following the coronavirus lockdown in May.
Bayern turned down a 120 million-euro option to buy Coutinho and the playmaker is set to return to Barca, perhaps only briefly, after club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said this week the German champions would not be extending his stay.
Rummenigge said on Tuesday that because of the coronavirus pandemic Bayern Munich “cannot make any further investments of this magnitude in these difficult economic times, which are also difficult for us.”
Coutinho has been linked with a return to the Premier League this summer, and with Barca “hitting rock bottom” according to defender Gerard Pique, they could well cut their losses with the Brazil international to free up funds to pursue Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Three talking points from the Premier League’s opening weekend
- Former Man Utd star Giggs goes on trial for assault
- Marseille win Ligue 1 season opener, Ramsey scores on Nice debut
- Lewandowski scores first Barcelona goal in Pumas rout
- Sundowns start season as they ended the last by topping table
- Haaland warns Premier League much more to come after dream debut
- RB Leipzig held at Stuttgart, Cologne defeat 10-man Schalke
- Haaland double gives Man City dream start, Man Utd beaten by Brighton
- Haaland’s debut double gives Man City’s title defence lift off
- Dortmund sign Cologne striker Modeste as Haller replacement