Barcelona player ratings as Lionel Messi lacks finishing touch in 0-0 at Lyon

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Barcelona huffed and puffed but failed to blow Lyon away as the round of 16 encounter at the Groupama Stadium on Wednesday night ended in a goalless draw.

Lionel Messi was predictably a central figure but the little magician couldn’t quite weave his magic in France. The hosts posed a threat on the break but Barcelona were able to cope.

It was another poor European night away from home for Luiz Suarez while Ousmane Dembele complemented Messi well before his bewildering substitution in the second half.

The Catalans will be disappointed to come away from Lyon without an away goal given the kind of chances they squandered.

It does however set up an enticing second leg back at Camp Nou in three weeks’ time.

STARTING XI (4-3-3)

Marc-Andre ter Stegen 7 – Made an outstanding save to keep out Martin Terrier’s swerving strike from range. Commanded his area and was quick off his line.

Nelson Semedo 6 – Excellent on the ball and looked assured at the back with Sergi Roberto supporting him.

Gerard Pique 7 – Made a crucial intervention when Moussa Dembele appeared to be clean through. Solid in defence.

Clement Lenglet 6 – Had a headed chance from a free-kick that looped over. Confident at the back.

Jordi Alba 7 – Showed great attacking intent with a couple of excellent cut-backs and a decent effort on the volley as well.

Ivan Rakitic 6 – Could’ve done better from Messi’s lay-off but his effort from the top of the box went wide. Retained possession well.

Sergio Busquets 6 – Went close with a deflected effort on the stroke of half-time. Anchored the midfield expertly and shielded the defence.

Sergio Roberto 6 – Good positional play as he helped keep the ball but also generated a bit of width on the right at times while tracking back as well.

Lionel Messi 7 – Had more space to operate in than he’s used to and wasn’t ruthless enough. Still the best player, creating a host of chances and looking the most likely to score. Just lacked the finishing touch.

Luis Suarez 4 – Anonymous in the first half and wasteful in the second. His drought away in Europe – now over 24 hours of playing time – continues.

Ousmane Dembele 7 – Showed good signs in the first half and even tested the keeper. Stretched the defence and was surprisingly hooked in the second half.

SUBS

Philippe Coutinho (67′) 6 – Replaced Dembele and didn’t have the same influence in attack despite forcing a save from Anthony Lopes.

Arturo Vidal (81′) N/A – Offered a bit more drive from midfield.

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Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Player ratings as Javi Martinez justifies start at Anfield

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Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a tense and absorbing goalless draw when they began their round-of-16 commitments in the UEFA Champions League.

In a game of precious few chances, the closest either side came to a breakthrough on Tuesday came early on when Joel Matip’s blushes were saved by Reds goalkeeper Alisson after the centre-back sliced a close-range clearance.

The sides meet again at Allianz Arena on March 14.

BAYERN MUNICH (4-3-3)

Manuel Neuer 6: Remained unflustered, as ever, in face of Liverpool’s press from front. Only true save came towards end, a low stop from Mane’s header.

Joshua Kimmich 7: Booked early on, but Germany international showcased his class. Remarkable composure to herd Mane when he looked in clear.

Niklas Sule 7: A lack of pace was picked out as a potential weakness. But the centre-back was a giant throughout.

Mats Hummels 8: In front of mentor Klopp, the ex-Borussia Dortmund defender oozed class. Great block on Firmino to quell danger.

David Alaba 6: Left it until 78th minute to make first surge forward of game. This was a night about digging in and surviving.

Thiago Alcantara 7: Smashed into Henderson, showing Bayern’s desire and drive. Made one smart pass to Rodriguez in the second half.

Javi Martinez 8: No ring rust, despite last start being on January 27. Made it his mission to frustrate Wijnaldum et al at Anfield.

James Rodriguez 5: Made surprise call to dump Goretzka look a curious one. Colombia playmaker was invisible, in both attack and defence.

Serge Gnabry 7: Very few players can make Robertson unsettled. Ex-Arsenal winger was a menace throughout. Forced Alisson into solid stop.

Robert Lewandowski 6: Tough toil for Poland superstar. Knew chances would be at premium, hence frustration after Fabinho tackle.

Kingsley Coman 5: Fired in cross to tee up Lewandowski, prior to Fabinho challenge. Did plenty of work going backwards at Anfield.

SUBSTITUTES

Franck Ribery N/A: Veteran winger handed the final throes days after celebrating birth of new child.

Renato Sanches N/A: Swansea flop was given responsibility to see out the final moments.

Rafinha N/A: Defensive job at the death, in place of the dogged Gnabry.

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Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Player ratings as Mohamed Salah and Co are frustrated

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Liverpool and Bayern Munich played out a tense and absorbing goalless draw when they began their round-of-16 commitments in the UEFA Champions League.

In a game of precious few chances, the closest either side came to a breakthrough on Tuesday came early on when Joel Matip’s blushes were saved by Reds goalkeeper Alisson after the centre-back sliced a close-range clearance.

The sides meet again at Allianz Arena on March 14.

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3)

Alisson 6: Brazil No1 recovered from shaky start to dominate area and fortunately get in way of scuffed Matip clearance.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7: Grew into the game as it went along. One adventurous run in second half almost broke the deadlock.

Joel Matip 6: Was grateful for Alisson’s presence in early running. Sliced effort wide at other end before interval, should have netted.

Fabinho 7: Superb challenge denied Lewandowski what seemed a certain away goal. Influence continues to grow at Anfield.

Andrew Robertson 5: Strange performance from flying Scot. Sloppy throughout and was mesmerised by Gnabry trickery, plus pace.

Georginio Wijnaldum 7: Deft flick almost created opener in first half. That was the highlight of a solid display by Netherlands midfielder.

Jordan Henderson 7: Angered by Thiago collision past hour mark. Was diligence personified, otherwise. Lofted ball just evaded stretching Salah.

Naby Keita 7: Former Bundesliga performer relished battle with Bayern. Deflected first-half shot almost played in Mane for fortuitous goal.

Mohamed Salah 5: Last season’s knockout-stage hero for Liverpool did not perform to expected standard this time. Must be better in Munich.

Roberto Firmino 7: Showed little sign of pre-match virus that threatened spot in XI. No clear chance, however, came his way.

Sadio Mane 6: Snatched at deflected Keita shot when superbly placed to score for fifth-successive match. Energy hurt Bayern build-up.

SUBSTITUTES

Divock Origi N/A: Belgium striker barely touched the ball during his cameo performance.

James Milner N/A: Veteran midfielder tried to inject energy and urgency. Didn’t make much difference.

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