Champions League Review: Liverpool, Bayern, Lyon & Barcelona goalless

TAGs: Bayern Munich, champions league, liverpool

A goalless night of Champions League action as Bayern Munich hold Liverpool at Anfield, and Lyon does likewise to Barcelona in the Groupama Stadium.

It wasn’t a comfortable night.

Champions League Review: Liverpool, Bayern, Lyon & Barcelona goallessA child missing their work-away father cried at 2.14 am, a pet terrapin gasped its last breath hidden beneath socks and pants in a teenage daughter’s dishevelled den, and the BT Sports Champions League round-up host had nothing to say.

The two previous times Bayern Munich had marched into Anfield for 90-minutes of war they left without scoring or conceding a goal. The third visit was no exception.

Images of Bayern players patting backs tell the story. Nobody has beaten the Bundesliga champions in the Champions League this season (a feat only Barcelona and Lyon can match), and the players weren’t about to let that stat die in the North of England.

The Germans battened down the hatches.

Liverpool couldn’t open them.

Sadio Mané had the two best chances, including a golden opportunity to score from seven-yards out only to skew his shot wide. When he turns up for work this morning, I am sure the backroom staff will be reminding him that the Opta Stats shows the Senegalese international has missed more ‘big’ chances than any other player in this season’s competition (8).

While Liverpool will be disappointed not to score, Jürgen Klopp’s side will be over Pluto with keeping a clean sheet. When you compete against a team of Bayern’s ilk with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez watching the match on TV, and a midfielder {Fabinho} playing at centre half you’re there for the taking.

Bayern didn’t want to take – not on this night.

Robert Lewandowski, the Champions League top scorer with eight goals, only touched the ball three times in the Liverpool penalty area, and Bayern failed to register a single digit in the ‘shots on target’ column for the first time in this contest since 2015.

If the backroom staff can right that Mané statistic and Liverpool score in the Allianz Arena on 13 March, then you can expect them to stroll into the quarter-finals. However, ‘probability’ is against them with only ten of 31 teams achieving that feat after a goalless first leg at home, Liverpool losing all three of their away group matches against Napoli, Red Star Belgrade and Paris St-Germain, only scoring once, and Bayern just losing two of their last 26 home Champions League ties.

Lyon 0 v 0 Barcelona

Barcelona remains odds-on to progress to the quarter-finals for the 12th consecutive season despite a disappointing goalless draw at the Groupama Stadium in France.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and co., fired the ball at the Lyon goal 25-times only to find an inspired Anthony Lopes standing in the way like a buoyant and bouncy brontosaurus.

At the other end, Barcelona’s shot-stopper, Marc André ter Stegen was also in fine fettle making two tremendous saves, the first down low to save from Houssam Aouar, and then tipping a 25-yard screamer from Martin Terrier onto the crossbar.

Neither Lyon nor Barcelona has tasted defeat in this season’s Champions League, and neither side was willing to let that pride-inducing statistic suffer. It’s Barcelona’s fourth draw in five matches, but they remain seven points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, and the 4/1 second favourites to win their first Champions League trophy since 2015.

The second leg takes place at The Nou Camp, March 13.​


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