Toothless Barcelona held to goalless draw at defiant Lyon
LYON (France), February 20: 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 undefeated 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.
The second leg will be at the Nou Camp on March 13.
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.
Barcelona dominated the 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.
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.
Barca forward Ousmane Dembele came close in the 19th minute when he dribbled past Leo Dubois on the left flank, only for keeper Anthony Lopes to deny him in a one-on-one.
The visitors had the upper hand with 25 attempts but were uncharacteristically wasteful with only five on target as they spurned several counter-attacking opportunities. (Agencies)
Solid and smart Bayern Munich hold Liverpool at Anfield
LIVERPOOL, February 20: 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.”
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. (Agencies)