Barcelona will play Europa League football next year, after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Bayern Munich and Benfica beating Dynamo Kiev eliminated them from the Champions League.
Bayern had already won Group E going into the final matchday but their victory carries them into Monday’s last-16 draw with a perfect record – the third this season alongside Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam.
“Bayern were better, superior,” Barcelona coach Xavi said.
“This is the harsh reality we have to face. I have told players that this is a turning-point. Today a new era begins and we have to take Barca where it deserves which is not the Europa League.”
Thomas Mueller opened the scoring with a 34th-minute looping header over Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
It was the 50th Champions League goal for the record German scorer in the competition and his eighth in seven games against Barca.
“It flows somehow against Barcelona,” Mueller told DAZN.
“Fifty Champions League goals, that’s a bunch already. I still have something ahead of me, that shouldn’t be the end.”
Leroy Sane doubled the lead before the break and Jamal Musiala slid in a third to complete the misery for the visitors and ensure a repeat of their 3-0 loss to Bayern from their previous home meeting.
“I am frustrated because this is our reality. We start from scratch and we have to get Barca back to fighting for the Champions League. I now feel responsible,” Xavi added.
Barcelona had started second in the group but with Benfica hosting the already-eliminated Ukrainians, knowing a win was likely needed to clinch second. Xavi’s side never looked like finding it.
Benfica survived an early scare in Lisbon but first half goals from former Kiev player Roman Yaremchuk and Gilberto gave them the required victory and saw Barcelona out at the group stage for the first time since 2000.
In Group D, Lille won 3-1 at Wolfsburg to top the group while Red Bull Salzburg clinched the runners-up spot thanks to a 1-0 victory against Sevilla.
Spaniards Sevilla enter the Europa League they have won a record six times and will relish targeting a final played in their home stadium in May.
The do-or-die Group F clash between Atalanta and Villarreal in Bergamo was postponed due to snow. Atalanta must win otherwise Villarreal will finish second behind Manchester United, who changed all of their starting eleven in a 1-1 draw against bottom side Young Boys.
Mason Greenwood opened the scoring at Old Trafford on nine minutes before Fabian Rieder levelled for the Swiss before halftime.
Juventus, who beat Swedes Malmo 1-0 in Turin, ended as winners of Group H after Magomed Ozdoyev smashed home a brilliant 94th-minute equaliser to hold Chelsea to a 3-3 draw at Zenit St Petersburg.
The round-of-16 draw is on Monday morning at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
With Reuters & PA.