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UEFA Champions League: Lyon hold Barca

LYON, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 19: Ferland Mendy of Olympique Lyonnais and Nelson Semedo of FC Barcelona battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Olympique Lyonnais and FC Barcelona at Groupama Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

LYON-FC Barcelona could not break down Olympique Lyonnais as the sides played to a goalless draw in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday night.

Blaugrana made four changes from their 1-0 win over Real Valladolid over the weekend, as Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets returned to the side while defender Clement Lenglet replaced Thomas Vermaelen.

Lyon on the other hand, were crucially without their talisman Nabil Fakir, who was missing through suspension.

The hosts had a couple sights at goal early and Martin Terrier came the closest in the ninth minute with a rocket of a strike that was brilliantly saved by Barça goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Lionel Messi had a great opportunity to give Ernesto Valverde’s charges the lead in the 17th minute after he received a cut-back from Jordi Alba inside the box but the Argentine struck his effort wide.

The intensity of the match slowed down towards the half-hour mark. although it was open for either side to break the deadlock.

Lyon ended the half the strongest and nearly snatched the breakthrough in stoppage time, through Terrier, whose shot from just outside the box sailed over the bar following a good combination play.

Memphis Depay almost broke the deadlock for Bruno Genesio’s troops seven minutes into the second with a snap volley that had Ter Stegen scrambling but missed narrowly wide.

Valverde made his first change in the 67th minute by bringing on Philippe Coutinho in place of Ousmane Dembele.

Suarez almost gave the visitors the lead 20 minutes before time after being gifted acres of space inside the box following a cut-back from Alba, however he was unable to guide his strike on target.

The Catalan giants nearly snatched a late goal through Busquets four minutes before time with a powerful effort from distance that excellently saved by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes as the sides shared the spoils in the end. Kickoff

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