Lionel Messi scored two goals and made two more as Barcelona earned a 5-1 win against a plucky Lyon side at the Nou Camp, fixing their place in the Champions League quarter-finals, where they are Spain’s remaining representative among Europe’s world class at this stage of the competition for the first time since 2009-10.
Notwithstanding the visitors’ goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and his speedy responses in dangerous situations, the hosts would have hustled to a three-goal lead after only 15 minutes. Jason Denayer’s unnecessary tackle attempt on Luis Suarez saw the LaLiga champions win a spot-kick, from which Messi committed no mistake to break the deadlock.
Philippe Coutinho multiplied their lead after incredible unselfish play by Suarez himself, before Lopes – unmistakably concussed – cleared a path mournfully after the half-hour mark for Mathieu Gorgelin, to make his Champions League debut.
Goals from Messi, Gerard Pique and substitute Ousmane Dembele helped put the icing on the cake, soon after Lucas Tousart’s first Champions League goal gave Lyon a life saver at 2-1 down with 30 minutes still to play.
In view of the majority of that, here’s a glance at five hits and flops from a memorable evening in Spain.
Maybe brutal on the Frenchman, this was a to a great extent tranquil and uninspiring showing from the forward- who is hungry for opportunities like these. Barcelona away, in a crunch Champions League tie, the 22-year-old went out with a whine and was successfully ruined by Clement Lenglet and whatever is left of Barca’s backline.
In spite of Lyon receiving a defensive 5-3-2 formation, they presented dangers on the counter-attack and the Dembele-Depay pairing in assault should give them targets to hit in-and-around Barcelona’s box. Despite the fact that the Dutchman was supplanted following 72 minutes, Dembele had the better possibilities and failed to make the most of them with the ball in his possession.
The reality he was confiscated on six occasions, regardless of having a game-low 30 touches, speaks volumes. Lenglet’s magnificently timed block midway through the first-half saw Dembele’s effort flash narrowly wide of Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s far post, which was a timely reminder that Lyon could score on the break themselves.
He was obviously baffled as time wore on and especially with a deficit to topple, attempted his most extreme to create things but often ran himself into traffic or just chose poor decisions near the final third. The fact he registered the same amount of shots (3) as fouls committed throughout says it all. Disappointing.