Messi draws rare blank against lyon but Barcelona still too strong

The return leg of Barcelona vs Lyon takes place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 13 March after the latter held Wasteful Barcelona in a goalless Champions League last-16 first-leg draw.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho were all denied by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Lyon had chances, too, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen brilliantly tipped Martin Terrier’s long-range shot onto the bar.

Champions Barca are top of La Liga, seven points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, but they have not won Europe’s premier competition since 2015 when they defeated Juventus in the final.

Going into this tie, Ernesto Valverde’s side were heavy favourites to progress to the quarter-finals for the 11th consecutive season, but their poor finishing leaves the tie in the balance.

The Catalans have now drawn four of their last five games in all competitions and should have netted twice in the opening four minutes but Ousmane Dembele scuffed off target and Messi dinked a free-kick over.

When Barca did call on Lopes, they found the Lyon number one in superb form, springing high in the second half to tip over Sergio Busquets’ drive, the best of his five saves in the game.

FT: Lyon 0-0 Barcelona

Barcelona has failed to score from open play for three consecutive games:

0-0 Athletic
1-0 Valladolid (Messi pen)
0-0 Lyon#UCL #OLBarca— MESSISTATS (@MessiStats_) February 19, 2019

French club Lyon, the only side to beat runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris St-Germain this season, could have snatched a goal themselves but Houssem Aouar’s strike was pushed away by Germany international Ter Stegen and Memphis Depay screwed a shot wide from the angle.

Pique the centurion – the stats

  • 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 Champions League season along with AEK Athens (2002/03) and 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 15 March, 2016 that two Champions League knockout matches finished 0-0 (Atletico Madrid v PSV and Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev).
  • 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 and Cristiano Ronaldo v Valencia in November).
  • 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).

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