Digital Football Journalist
Lyon 0-0 Barcelona: Martin Terrier goes closest as Lionel Messi draws a blank
Last Updated: 19/02/19 10:46pm
Martin Terrier went closest as Lyon's fine performance earned a 0-0 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 first leg.
Barcelona had the majority of the chances but had Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for keeping the scores level at half-time when he leapt to his right to deflect Terrier's 25-yard drive onto the bar.
Luis Suarez's Champions League duck continued as he missed a glorious chance to score from Jordi Alba's pull-back after half-time, and Lionel Messi missed two opportunities from free-kicks just outside the area.
Overall, the visitors could muster only five shots on target across the 90 minutes as Lyon claimed a clean sheet which could prove vital when they travel to the Nou Camp for the return leg next month.
Lyon: Lopes (7), Dubois (9), Marcelo (7), Denayer (8), Mendy (7), Ndombele (7), Aouar (8), Traore (6), Depay (7), Terrier (7), Dembele (6).
Subs: Tousart (6), Cornet (6), Cheikh (n/a)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (8), Semedo (7), Pique (7), Lenglet (6), Alba (7), Roberto (6), Busquets (7), Rakitic (6), Messi (6), Suarez (5), Dembele (5).
Subs: Coutinho (7), Vidal (n/a)
Man of the match: Leo Dubois.
Barcelona looked like they had laid down a marker when Houssem Aouar was booked for hauling down Messi just outside the box inside three minutes, but the Argentine's free-kick was unusually tame and floated well over.
But Lyon gave as good as they got before half-time and produced the two best chances of the half, first when Aouar's fizzing low effort was kept out by Ter Stegen's dive, before the goalkeeper produced true heroics to get fingertips to Terrier's dipping shot from 25 yards.
At the other end, Ousmane Dembele saw plenty of the ball but did little with it, apart from one moment of brilliance when he turned Leo Dubois inside and out before turning the ball onto his left foot and forced a smart save from Anthony Lopes.
After the break Barcelona ramped up the pressure, and enjoyed 70 per cent of possession while still doing little with it.
They should have taken the lead when Alba cut the ball back from the left to Suarez, but he was already slipping before his first-time shot whistled beyond the near post.
Lyon could manage only a single shot in the second 45 minutes but as the clock ticked towards full-time they began to settle for the stalemate, and produced a superb defensive performance to deny Barcelona an away goal.
The visitors' frustrations were summed up in added time when Messi was brought down by Ferland Mendy just outside the area, only to smack his free-kick into the wall before his effort from the rebound was also blocked, leaving the second leg of this tie, on March 13, very much in the balance.
- Barcelona are winless in their last six Champions League away knockout games (D2 L4), failing to score in five of those.
- Lyon have drawn each of their last six Champions League games; equalling the record for most consecutive draws in a single UCL season along with AEK Athens (2002/03) and Glasgow Rangers (2005/06).
- Lyon have failed to beat Barcelona in all seven of their Champions League clashes (D3 L4).
- This was the first time since March 15th 2016 that two Champions League knockout matches finished 0-0 (Atlético de Madrid v PSV and Manchester City v Dynamo Kyiv).
- Barcelona's Lionel Messi attempted nine shots in this match, four more than Lyon registered. It's the joint-highest total without scoring for a player in this season's Champions League (also Luis Suarez v Inter in Nov & Cristiano Ronaldo v Valencia in Nov).
- Barcelona's Luis Suarez has gone over 24 hours of playing time since he last scored an away goal in the Champions League (1508 mins).
- Lyon failed to land a single shot on target in the second half, attempting just two across the whole game.
- Gerard Pique became the seventh player to reach 100+ appearances for Barcelona in the Champions League (also Xavi, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes and Sergio Busquets).
Man of the match - Leo Dubois
Dubois had the unenviable job of dealing with first Ousmane Dembele and often Lionel Messi, with the forward drifting around the Lyon defence.
But he barely put a foot wrong all night, made five clearances and won the ball back six times on the night.