BARCELONA will have to beat Lyon at the Nou Camp on March 13 if they want to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the 12th season in a row.
Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele both wasted good chances on an eventful albeit frustrating goalless night in France.
The pair could not find a way past Anthony Lopez and in the end had their own goalkeeper to thank for taking a draw back to Catalonia.
But Barca can take confidence from the 2009 campaign, when they drew at Lyon in the first leg of their Round of 16 tie before going on to lift the trophy come May.
Dembele got in behind the Lyon defence but dragged wide with just 25 seconds played – it was a let off for Lyon but a sign of things to come from the French forward who struggled to find any end product throughout.
Four minutes later, Messi had the perfect chance to give Barca the lead when he was cynically scythed down by Houssem Aouar on the edge of the box.
It looked inevitable. Round, over or under the wall, his free-kick was destined to go in for Champions League goal No107.
Messi, though, clipped harmlessly over as Anthony Lopez let out a huge sigh of relief.
But it was Barca – and specifically Barca’s crossbar – that were rattling soon after as Martin Terrier unleashed a powerful drive from distance.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, at full stretch, managed to tip the ball with his fingertips on to the bar and gleefully collected the rebound.
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And after a visibly-frustrated Messi blazed over again when unmarked in the box, it was Terrier who went close once more.
Lyon out-Barca’d Barcelona with their one-touch passing but he could not keep his effort down as the first half somehow finished goalless.
Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets all went close in the second period but they could not find the key to unlock the Lyon door.
Messi then had another glorious opportunity to win it for his side but the Argentine wizard uncharacteristically dumped his last-minute free-kick into the wall.
Manager Ernesto Valverde will be hoping Barcelona can continue their fine European run with a victory in the second leg.
But with Lyon shocking Manchester City at the Etihad in September and welcoming Nabil Fekir back in three weeks’ time, Barca could be left to rue their poor finishing.
This post written by Joshua Jones originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.