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PIX: Wasteful Barca held by Lyon; Bayern frustrate Liverpool

Last updated on: February 20, 2019 10:28 IST

IMAGE: Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes makes a save from Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

Barcelona were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyonnais in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday as both sides remained unbeaten in this season's competition.

 

The La Liga leaders dominated the match at the Groupama stadium but lacked accuracy up front and were grateful to their goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen who made two great saves.

Lyon were lively in the first half but ran out of steam after the break and were holding on in the closing stages as Lionel Messi tried in vain to open up the home defence.

IMAGE: Lionel Messi takes a free kick. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

Barca had a total of 25 shots but only five on target and their best chance came in the last minute when Sergio Busquets's 18-metre attempt was tipped over the bar by Anthony Lopes.

The second leg will be at the Nou Camp on March 13, a game where Lyon will welcome back France striker and captain Nabil Fekir, who was suspended on Tuesday.

"We could have done better in the first half and converted our chances but we did not concede a goal so our chances are intact," said Lyon defender Leo Dubois.

OL coach Bruno Genesio sprung a surprise by fielding Martin Terrier on the left wing instead of Maxwell Cornet and the 21-year-old did not disappoint.

Barca dominated possession early on, but Lyon had the first two shots on target and it took a couple of superb saves from Ter Stegen to deny the hosts, who never came that close again.

He stretched to his left to parry a vicious low shot by Hassem Aouar in the fifth minute before making a one-handed save to tip a 25-metre Terrier missile onto his crossbar.

IMAGE: Barcelona's Luis Suarez reacts. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

Barca forward Ousmane Dembele came close in the 19th minute when he dribbled past Dubois on the left flank, only for keeper Anthony Lopes to deny him in a one-on-one.

The visitors had the upper hand but were uncharacteristically wasteful as they spurned several counter-attacking opportunities. A Dembele attempt shaved Lopes's post before Terrier skied his shot over the bar after a superb series of one-twos tore the Barca defence apart as both sides tried to break the deadlock.

Lyon were under siege early in the second period but their defence was perfectly marshalled by Jason Denayer with Dubois also proving decisive against Luis Suarez.

Lopes beat Messi's angled shot away to keep his side level before Dembele was replaced by Philippe Coutinho, who had a clear chance in the 76th but was denied by in-form Lopes.

Barca have now failed to win any of their last six away games in the Champions League knockout stage, with their last victory coming at Arsenal in February 2016.

Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

IMAGE: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, centre, is challenged by Joshua Kimmich and Niklas Sule, right, of Bayern Munich. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Bayern Munich showed all their Champions League experience and quality organisation as they held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their last 16 match at Anfield on Tuesday in a game of few chances and little drama.

But the result leaves it all to play for in the second leg in Munich on March 13 when the German side will be without defender Joshua Kimmich who will be suspended after picking up a yellow card.

Perhaps it was a case of both sides showing too much respect for the other -- certainly both were wary of over-committing in attack -- but for fans used to entertainment and drama on European nights at Anfield it was a let down.

"It is not the result or the game we dreamed of," said Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.

"I can't remember any chances for either side in the second half. It wasn't a Champions League night from that point of view. From a result point of view, it's OK."

It is no accident that Bayern have reached the semi-finals of this competition in six of the last seven seasons and they showed their pragmatic calmness to subdue Liverpool's normally lively front three.

"I can't remember too many clubs who have avoided defeat and kept a clean sheet here," said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

"The fact that we managed to restrict them to very few chances shows that we played very well tactically as well as technically."

IMAGE: Liverpool's Sadio Mane shoots at goal. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Mohamed Salah, the man Liverpool look to for moments of inspiration, to create a goal out of nothing, had a night to forget with one of his poorest displays in this competition.

Liverpool simply could not find the fluency and rhythm that brings the best out of their forward line although they will be pleased, in the absence of their defensive rock Virgil van Dijk, to have kept out Bayern.

Key to that rearguard resilience was the performance from Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who deputised well in the central-defensive role keeping Bayern's scoring threat Robert Lewandowski quiet.

In midfield, Jordan Henderson delivered an excellent display, especially in the opening 45 minutes, when he broke up Bayern's attempts to create and also contributed some drive to Liverpool's forward thrusts.

There were few clear-cut chances in the game although Liverpool created several half-openings in the first period.

The first was one of the best they managed -- Henderson found Salah, who had snuck in behind Niklas Sule, but the Egyptian's toe-poke at full stretch was straight at Manuel Neuer.

At the other end, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker had to be alert to keep out a mis-hit clearance from Joel Matip that hit him in the chest.

Kingsley Coman fired into the side-netting after a sloppy give away from Alisson but that was a rare sign of jitters from either defence.

Bayern were content to sit deep after the break and the closest Klopp's side came in the second half was a diving header from Sadio Mane in the 86th minute which Neuer pushed around the post.

This was not a night that will go in the list of great European encounters at Anfield, a fact reflected in a rather flat atmosphere for much of the game, but Liverpool know they still have a chance to progress.

"You're playing an experienced team. They’ve been here and done it for five or six years," said left back Andy Robertson.

"We've kept a clean sheet, could’ve scored a couple of goals but the tie is well and truly alive. If we score there it's crucial."

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