Masculins / OL-Barcelona

OL show defensive might against Barcelona

Published on 20 February 2019 at 11:46 AM

presented by  presented by FirstTeam

une barcelone denayer
Usually renowned for their attacking prowess, Lyon's defense took center stage in Tuesday's 0-0 with Barça at Groupama Stadium in the opening leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

Tuesday night's 0-0 draw in their Champions League Round of 16 opening leg against the mighty Barcelona keeps Lyon's chances of moving on in the tournament firmly intact ahead of the March 13 decider at the Camp Nou. The result was achieved in large part thanks to OL's defensive quartet of Leo Dubois, Marcelo, Jason Denayer and Ferland Mendy - anchored in goal Anthony Lopes

Dubois, after an early booking, was one of the pleasant surprises of the match. Relatively quiet on offense, the former Nantes man nonetheless made his presence felt in the back, most notably with a crucial deflection of a Luis Suarez shot (63 ') inside the box. Marcelo, somewhat unsure in the beginning, got gradually stronger as the night progressed, winning virtually every individual duel against Barcelona attackers. Meanwhile, Denayer's stock continued to rise thanks to Tuesday's performance. Initially a question mark due to injury concerns, the Belgian center back forced himself into Bruno Genesio's starting lineup and put in a spectacular display - earning Man of the Match honors in the process. Mendy, who took a hit to the ankle during warm-ups, was stellar in a mainly defensive role dedicated to keeping the opposing strikers at bay. Finally, Lopes, having arguably his best season, made highlight-reel saves on Messi (65 '), Coutinho (76') and Busquets (86 ') to keep a clean sheet... and keep OL's chances alive and well with 90 minutes to go in the series. 

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