Barcelona's attacking stars disappoint in 0-0 draw at Lyon

Barcelona's attacking stars were held in check by Lyon on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, leaving the French side's hopes of causing a big upset very much alive.
Lyon defender Leo Dubois, left, challenges Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, right, during the Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Lyon and FC Barcelona on Tuesday. (The Associated Press)

On a scoreless night in the Champions League, not even Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez could find a way to get a goal.

Barcelona's attacking stars were held in check by Lyon on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, leaving the French side's hopes of causing a big upset very much alive.

Messi failed to add to his six goals so far in the competition, while Suarez had the goal gaping but sliced a shot wide with 20 minutes left after latching on to Jordi Alba's pass from the left.

When wasteful Barca did hit the target, Lyon's goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was in fine form.

Containing the five-time champion in the return leg on March 13 may prove far harder for Lopes and his defence if Messi and Suarez are back to their best. However, coach Ernesto Valverde warned not to underestimate a Lyon side which won at Premier League champion Manchester City and was unbeaten in the group stage.

"We are strong at home but there's no denying that 0-0 away from home is a dangerous result," Valverde said. "My feeling is that we played well, we were switched on. I think that we deserved a better result and did enough to win. It just wasn't our night."

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, left, and Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho, right, react to a missed opportunity during their match against Lyon on Tuesday. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)

In Tuesday night's other game, Liverpool and Bayern Munich drew 0-0 in a match between five-time champions.

When Messi picked out Sergio Busquets five minutes from the end, the midfielder's rasping shot from the edge of the penalty area was expertly tipped over by Lopes — the French league's standout goalie this season.

"Lyon played well but their keeper was very good," Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet said.

Messi had the goal in his sights in the last minute, but struck his free kick into the wall and did the same with the rebound.

Both goalkeepers did well, with Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen making two fine saves inside the first 10 minutes from midfielder Houssem Aouar and forward Martin Terrier.

Although Lyon spent much of the half chasing Barcelona's slick midfielders, Barca's approach play too often broke down around the penalty area. Suarez was the biggest culprit, wasting several promising moves with unusually hurried passes.

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio acknowledged his side got off somewhat lightly.

"We gave them the ball back too quickly and that meant we were on the receiving end of wave after wave of attacks," Genesio said. "We conceded too many opportunities for my liking in the second half."

Bayern Munich 0, Liverpool 0

Bayern Munich still can't find a way to score, let alone win at Liverpool.

In their fourth visit to Anfield, the German champions drew 0-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to go a fourth game at the stadium without finding the net.

"It's not a dream result but it's a good one and we can work with that," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. "It's not a game we will remember in 20 years but it's a result we have."

On a quiet night in the competition, the other game between Lyon and Barcelona was also scoreless.

By denying Bayern an away goal, Liverpool has a slight edge heading into the second leg of the round of 16 knowing it would advance with a scoring draw.


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