Barcelona's stunned players were described as "depressed and down" as they tried to comprehend the 4-0 thrashing that has left Bayern Munich on the brink of the Champions League final.
The most esteemed club side of the past decade, playing in their sixth successive semi-final of this competition, suffered their heaviest European defeat since going down by the same score to Dynamo Kyiv in 1997.
"They gave us a thrashing," Gerard Piqué, the Barcelona centre-half, reflected after two goals from Thomas Müller, pictured above, and one each from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben had put Bayern in control. "They were better and faster than us. There is no point talking about the referee – there is no excuse."
Gomez's goal had come from an offside position and Müller should have been penalised for a foul on Jordi Alba before Robben made it 3-0. However, the Barcelona coach, Jordi Roura, said the players had to accept the culpability.
"You can imagine they're pretty depressed and down. Of course they are. We had a match we were looking forward to and we lost. It hurts, it's difficult but it happens in football.
"I wouldn't say the referee influenced the game. We shouldn't try to hide behind that. Bayern were just the better team, very good, very physical.
"We thought the players on the pitch would be good enough for us but we didn't manage it. We didn't get [Lionel] Messi into the game. He tried very hard and it was a great effort of his to be here but we just couldn't do any more."
Jupp Heynckes, the Bayern coach, talked later later of one of the more satisfying results of his managerial career. "We played a fantastic game," he said. "The decisive factor was the organisation of the team, defending intelligently, every player was really happy to stay back and at the same time we had a lot of creativity upfront. I am really happy with the boys. Barcelona are a fantastic team so that's why you can rate this victory even more."
Robben added: "We knew we could give them a good game. Barça have dominated Europe over the last five years and we beat them in such a terrific way. We can be proud, everybody played a perfect game, we fought for every metre and we didn't give them any space to play."
Barcelona beat Milan 4-0 in the second leg of their last-16 tie, having lost 2-0 in the first leg at San Siro, and Roura said they would not give up hope of an improbable comeback at Camp Nou next Wednesday.
"It [the score] is a wonder, a sensation, however you want to describe it. Four-nil is a huge result, and there is a lot of catching up to do. Of course it will be very difficult to reach the final now. I don't think that kind of result has ever happened in the history of the Champions League but we will do our best. We will hope, do our best and see if it works and if the referee will be in our favour."