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Olympique Lyonnais v Barcelona Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
And that wraps up our coverage. We hope you enjoyed our commentary, and until next time, goodbye!
With the second-leg not scheduled to play until the 13th of March, both sides have plenty of domestic action to contend with, each having four weeks of football to play before they lock horns with each other once more. Genesio’s Lyon will look to continue their fine form in France as they head southwards to play Monaco on Sunday, while Valverde’s Barca aim to vanquish any lingering threats to their title from fourth-placed Sevilla at their turf a day beforehand.
You would have gotten great odds for a goalless stalemate, given the attacking nature of both sides, but this was far from a cagey affair as each team had several chances to win the match! Despite Lyon’s inability to match the attacking verve of their first-half display, they were able to maintain their shape and discipline to frustrate Barcelona to no end. Les Gones’ back four, with Denayer in particular, were magnificent, while Valverde and his men will return to Spain wondering how they didn’t put at least three past Lopes. Despite the 0-0 draw, the Blaugrana should be confident of going through to the quarter-finals with the second-leg at the Camp Nou on the horizon.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: LYON 0-0 BARCELONA
There will be three minutes of added time to be played.
The wall stands tall though, and Messi’s second effort bounces clear once more before Lyon clear! The hosts hold on as we approach injury time!
This could prove costly for Lyon! Messi attempts another run on goal, but is felled by Mendy in promising free-kick territory just outside Les Gones’ penalty area! Nervous times for Lyon supporters as Messi stands over the ball.
Semedo takes out Aouar, forcing referee Cakir to equal the card count between the two sides.
The resulting set-piece falls towards the path of the Blaugrana talisman, who weaves his way to space before having a pop at goal that was always going wide, despite Suarez’s efforts to get his head on the shot at the far post!
BUSQUETS IS DENIED BY LOPES! Messi gets on the end of a Vidal header following Alba’s cross, and manages to cut the ball back to a wide-open Busquets who unleashes a drive that forces another excellent reaction save by the Lyon keeper!
NDombele, whose combative midfield display earns him a standing ovation from the home faithful, comes off for Cheikh in Genesio's last change of the match.
Another pass by Rakitic is cut out by a Lyon centre-back - this time, an acrobatic interception by Denayer stops any lingering Blaugrana threat, and the ball goes out of play.
That card was Roberto's last contribution of the game, as Vidal is brought on to bring some attacking impetus to a Barca midfield stifled by some brilliant defending by their hosts.
Roberto fouls Depay, earning himself a booking and Barca's first of the match.
Marcelo makes a brilliant interception, cutting out Rakitic’s pass towards Suarez just as the forward was about to turn away from the Lyon skipper! Backs-to-the-wall defending from Les Gones expected in these final 10 minutes, the bus firmly parked to stop the constant wave of Blaugrana shirts.
Barca are getting closer and closer to breaking the deadlock! Mendy carelessly gives the ball away to Suarez who floats in a lovely ball towards Messi only for Dubois to close the Argentina forward down and prevent any further threats! However, Messi is able to play in Suarez, who cuts it back to the onrushing Alba whose wild effort goes high and wide of Lopes’ goal!
LOPES STOPS BARCA AGAIN! The substitute Coutinho unleashes a fierce drive from the edge of the box that the Lyon stopper is equal to, beating the ball away before his defenders can clear the danger!
Terrier is hooked off as Genesio brings on Cornet for his second change of the game.
SUAREZ AGAIN WITH A GREAT CHANCE! Alba again finding space on the left, enough to deliver a pin-point pass towards the path of the Uruguay forward whose effort is straight at the sprawling Lopes! Lyon are now hanging on at the Groupama, but their supporters have not turned down the volume since kick-off!
Play stops as Terrier goes down, seemingly due to cramp. He quickly gets back up though, and Lopes immediately takes the goal kick.
SUAREZ NEARLY SCORES THERE! The forward finds himself in acres of space in the Lyon area and gets on the end of Alba's quick cut-back with a first-time effort that goes just wide of Lopes’ right! How many more chances do Barca need?
Genesio also makes his first substitution of the match, taking Traore off and replacing him with Tousart as he looks to tighten things up in midfield.
MESSI GOES CLOSE AGAIN! The Argentina forward is put through on goal again - this time by Alba - but the pass is too quick and he can only get the ball across and over Lopes’ goal from another tight angle!
Valverde makes the first change of the match, bringing Coutinho on to replace Ousmane Dembele whose second half didn’t match the display of the first.
GREAT SAVE BY LOPES! Messi manages to get a shot in on goal from a tight angle after a quick one-two with Ousmane Dembele, but the Lyon stopper goes low and beats the effort away!
SUAREZ ALMOST BREAKS HIS DROUGHT! The Uruguay forward only manages to scuff a weak shot on goal after being put through, but he understandably tries to take the chance instead of playing Messi in! He at least forces a corner off Dubois, but the set-piece comes to nothing and Lyon clear.
Lyon almost have another opportunity on goal as Moussa Dembele takes the ball past Lenglet, but his touch is too heavy and Ter Stegen safely gathers it.
The home crowd are on their feet as Depay runs at a scrambling Pique, and the Lyon forward does well to go past the centre-back only for his low cross to be intercepted by Ter Stegen!
Prior to this match, all five goals conceded by the Blaugrana in this season’s Champions League have come in the second-half - including three in the final 10 minutes.
Denayer does brilliantly to track Suarez’s movements as the Uruguay forward tries to go through on goal, and the latter is put off long enough for Lyon skipper to sweep up the danger and clear the ball away. The Lyon centre-back pairing have performed admirably considering the front three they are up against.
Lenglet earns the ire of the home fans once again after tripping Depay following a tussle for the ball. He escapes a booking this time, but is on referee Cakir’s watchlist for the remainder of the game.
DEPAY NEARLY MAKES IT 1-0! The Netherlands forward gets on the end of a loose ball and hits a snap volley that sends Ter Stegen scrambling across his goal, only for the shot to fly wide of the left post!
Denayer, who has had an excellent game so far, manages to sweep up any threat from Messi after the latter takes a poor touch following a Rakitic pass. The loose ball goes as far out as the Croatia playmaker, but his shot is blocked and Lyon clear.
Depay does very well to win a throw-in deep in Barca’s half after putting Pique in an awkward position as the centre-back tried to play the ball. However, the Blaugrana regain possession and are swarming their opponents’ half with attacking intent.
The last time Barcelona had more than 13 shots in the first half of a Champions League game away from the Camp Nou was against BATE Borisov back in September 2011 (14)
No changes to either side at the interval, although Genesio has shifted tactics and is now lining up his charges in a 4-4-2, moving Depay up top to partner Moussa Dembele while Traore and Terrier occupy the wide positions in midfield.
Lyon get play restarted as the second half gets underway!
With the first-leg still at a goalless stalemate, Genesio will want to keep things tight at the back while looking to use the pace and power of their forwards to trouble a Blaugrana defence that isn’t looking too formidable in such hostile conditions. As for Barca, Valverde will want to take a lead back to the Camp Nou, so an away goal will be the main priority for the next 45 minutes.
Despite their pre-match status as underdogs and their opponents dominating possession as expected, Lyon have proven to be quite the threats to their more illustrious opposition, having had the better of the chances with Aouar and Terrier in particular coming close. However, Barcelona have had their moments at Lopes’ goal, and some profligate finishing prevented the visitors from taking the lead against their game hosts.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: LYON 0-0 BARCELONA
45' + 2'
BUSQUETS ALMOST SCORES THERE! The first-half ends with a Busquets half-chance from outside the area after getting on the end of a loose ball following another Blaugrana breakaway, which takes a slight deflection off Denayer before going wide! There isn’t enough time to take the corner though as Cakir blows for the break.
LYON NEARLY SNATCH ONE BEFORE HALF-TIME! Fabulous football from Les Gones as they bamboozle the Barca defence with superb one-touch play around their visitors’ box that ends with Terrier blazing his shot over the bar after receiving Moussa Dembele’s pass! Unlucky from the hosts there!
What a vital touch by Denayer there! Without the Lyon centre-back’s intervention, Alba’s brilliant pass would have sent Messi clear on goal with only Lopes to beat!
Ousmane Dembele has another pop at goal after cutting in from the left once again, only for his shot to go wide of Lopes’ goal.
To the jeers of the home faithful, Lenglet wins a free-kick in the centre circle despite looking to have fouled Depay as the latter was about to embark on a run towards the Barca half.
Suarez is penalised for an aerial challenge on Lopes following a long spell of tiki-taka in the Lyon half, the Uruguay forward having attempted to get on the end of a lofted Ousmane Dembele ball after being put through superbly by Messi.
Suarez has now gone over 24 hours of playing time without an away goal in the Champions League - his last strike being at the Stadio Olimpico against Roma back in September 2015.
Suarez manages to win the ball off the Lyon defence and tries to chip Lopes with an ambitious lob that the Lyon keeper easily catches.
Messi sends the ball in the box, but the opportunity ends with a Lenglet header that flies high over the bar.
Dubois becomes the second Lyon player booked by Cakir following an unnecessary barge on Suarez near the touchline.
Pique is forced to make an excellent last-ditch challenge to deny Moussa Dembele in the box after Depay’s pass managed to slip through to the path of the Lyon forward! Nothing comes of the subsequent corner though.
Roberto is given the freedom of the Groupama as he runs towards the Lyon penalty area unchallenged, but his pass towards Semedo is poor and intercepted. However, Messi is able to get a shot through which forces another Barca corner, but the home defence capably deal with the danger.
Prior to this match, Lyon had averaged 44% possession in this season’s Champions League, the lowest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition whilst only Real Madrid have had more possession (65%) than Barcelona (64%).
Roberto plays in a great ball towards the onrushing Semedo, who manages to force a corner off Mendy. Messi’s set-piece only goes as far out as Mendy, who heads the ball away only for Barca to regain possession in the Lyon half.
Suarez attempts to run in on goal despite the sea of white shirts in front of him, but only ends up fouling Denayer after felling the Lyon centre-back in the home side’s penalty area.
OUSMANE DEMBELE GOES CLOSE! The Barca winger manages to weave his way around his marker before getting clear with only Lopes to face, only for the Lyon keeper to put him off long enough and stop the chance by going low! Lyon are feeling the pressure now, and there’s only been 20 minutes played so far!
MESSI SHOULD’VE DONE BETTER THERE! Alba bursts down the left wing, and finds the Blaugrana talisman in space with a brilliant cut-back only for the forward to blaze his shot wide with a first-time effort! You’d expect Messi to bury these!
Aouar's booking is the second earliest yellow card in this season's Champions League campaign (02:54), after Lokomotiv Moscow's Vedran Corluka against Porto (02:23).
RAKITIC FLASHES HIS SHOT WIDE! An extended spell of Barca possession ends with Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele exchanging passes before the former’s first chance was blocked, only for the rebound to reach Messi. The Argentina forward plays in the Croatia midfielder in space just outside the box, but his curling effort goes wide of Lopes’ goal!
Depay has his pocket picked by Messi, who goes on another one of his runs down the middle only for his shot to be blocked by Denayer despite Suarez being in a better position!
NDombele trips Ousmane Dembele out on the wing, conceding a free-kick in the process. Messi sends one in the box and the delivery is cleared only as far out as the recipient of the foul, whose effort is high and over the bar.
LYON WITH ANOTHER GREAT CHANCE! Moussa Dembele brilliantly chests down a long ball upfield towards the path of Terrier, who takes one touch before unleashing a rocket of a shot that Ter Stegen managed to stop with a picture perfect save! The Barca keeper gratefully catches it at the second attempt, but Les Gones have been a threat on the counter so far despite the visitors’ early dominance!
It’s a fast start at the Groupama, as Ousmane Dembele forces a corner for Barca after more penetrative play from the winger. The set-piece is played short to Messi, but nothing comes of it and Lyon get the goal kick.
CLOSE FROM LYON! Ter Stegen’s clearance was a poor one and went as far out as Traore, who does very well to play in Aouar whose low chance required a good save from the Blaugrana goalkeeper! Lyon get the first corner of the game, but they are unable to make anything of it and Barca get a throw-in.
However, Messi’s lofted effort sails harmlessly over the bar as the Lyon faithful breathe a sigh of relief.
Cakir has no choice to book Aouar following his foul on Messi as the latter was through on goal after taking advantage of some sloppy play from the Lyon midfielder. Barca now have a free-kick in dangerous territory with Suarez and Messi standing over the ball.
Busquets concedes the first foul of the match, tripping Aouar as the Lyon midfielder tried to play his way out of possession. The home side are struggling to get the ball out of their own half in these opening minutes.
Ousmane Dembele snatches at his shot after bursting down the left wing, dragging his chance wide as Barca create the first opportunity on goal.
The hosts are decked out in all-white with their distinctive red stripe across the shoulders, while the visitors are sporting their fluorescent yellow away kit.
Referee Cuneyt Cakir blows his whistle, and Barcelona get us underway at the Groupama!
The players are out and kick-off is drawing near as the Champions League anthem blares around the Groupama.
Lyon and Barcelona remained unbeaten in this season’s Champions League group stages. In fact, it’s the first time two teams are facing each other in the knockout stages of the Champions League without a defeat to their name all season since the Blaugrana and Manchester United met in the 2007-08 semi-finals.
Valverde makes one more change than his opposite number after they further established their lead at the top of LaLiga with a 1-0 win against Valladolid, with Rakitic coming back into to partner Busquets in the Blaugrana engine room and Suarez returning to lead the line in place of Kevin-Prince Boateng, who doesn’t make the bench. Vidal and youngster Alena do though, as well as Umtiti who makes his return from injury. In defence, Lenglet replaces Thomas Vermaelen, while Roberto is pushed forward to midfield to accommodate Semedo at right-back.
Genesio makes three changes from the side that won 2-1 against Guingamp on Friday, with Fekir’s suspension paving the way for Depay to play in the hole behind Dembele up front. NDombele comes in for Tousart in midfield, while Mendy replaces Marcal at left-back. Terrier, who scored against the Ligue 1 strugglers, gets another chance to continue his good form against more prestigious opposition today.
SUBSTITUTES: Inaki Pena, Jeison Murillo, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Alena, Coutinho, Arturo Vidal, Malcom.
BARCELONA XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic; Lionel Messi (c), Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele.
SUBSTITUTES: Mathieu Gorgelin, Marcal, Oumar Solet, Kenny Tete, Pape Cheikh, Lucas Tousart, Maxwel Cornet.
LYON XI (4-2-3-1): Anthony Lopes; Leo Dubois, Marcelo (c), Jason Denayer, Ferland Mendy; Tanguy NDombele, Houssem Aouar; Bertrand Traore, Memphis Depay, Martin Terrier; Moussa Dembele.
And without further ado, let’s take a look at how both sides line up, starting with the hosts.
While this makes it the 15th straight season that Barcelona have made the knockout rounds of the Champions League, they haven’t won the competition since 2015 and Ernesto Valverde’s men will be chomping at the bit to break Real Madrid’s streak of three tournament wins in a row. Despite going into the match as favourites also having never been beaten by their hosts, the Blaugrana are without a win in their last five knockout games away from the Camp Nou, and must remain vigilant of the threat posed by their dangerous opponents.
This may come as a surprise to many given their historical pedigree, but this is the first time in seven seasons that Lyon have reached the knockout rounds of the Champions League. While Bruno Genesio’s charges head into this fixture as the underdogs, they have only lost one of their last 13 on home turf in European competition, and come into this game on the back of six wins in their last seven in all competitions. However, they will have to play this first-leg without their talisman Nabil Fekir, whose one-match suspension is a huge blow to Les Gones.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of this Champions League round-of-16 first-leg between Lyon and Barcelona at the Groupama Stadium!