Barcelona beat Lyon 5-1 in the Round of 16 second leg at Camp Nou to secure safe passage through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
The hosts were in control of the game pretty much from the get-go, with Lionel Messi being denied by Anthony Lopes in the sixth minute. 10 minutes later, Barcelona went on to score the first goal of the tie, although there was a lot of controversy associated with it.
Jason Denayer appeared to have fouled Luis Suarez inside the Lyon box and the referee pointed towards the spot. But, the replays showed that it was in fact, Suarez who had stamped on Denayer, although VAR still inexplicably confirmed that it was a penalty. Lionel Messi stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no error in converting it, scoring a cheeky Panenka.
Thereafter, Barcelona continued to dominate the proceedings thoroughly, with Messi, in particular, threatening the most. And, just past the half hour mark, the hosts doubled their advantage through Philippe Coutinho, who scored from the simplest of tap-ins, with Suarez laying on the assist for him.
In the second half, Lyon came out a much better side, almost initially threatening the goal with a Ferland Mendy cross that went astray towards the goal. Les Gones then pulled a goal back in the 58th minute, when Lucas Tousart volleyed the ball into the back of the net.
But, the comeback hopes were short-lived as Messi scored his second of the night, leaving two Lyon defenders on the ground. The Barcelona captain then provided two assists within five minutes, first with a squared ball for Gerard Pique before playing Ousmane Dembele through to complete the 5-1 win.
Barcelona thus, completed the lineup of quarter-finalists, with Liverpool taking the other spot from the fixtures on Wednesday following their 3-1 win at Bayern Munich. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
Lyon did threaten Barcelona for large parts of the game, but ter Stegen barely had anything to do, with the defenders holding their own in front of him. The one instance he was called into action, the German shot stopper was sharp to save a Ferland Mendy cross that had become goalbound. Had no chance to deny Lucas Tousart.
Sergi Roberto: 6/10
An outing in which Roberto did just enough. Apart from the odd occasion, the Spaniard did well in his battles against Memphis Depay and Ferland Mendy. Going forward, however, he was barely an outlet, although on the day, he did not really need to be, with Messi in such rampant form.
Gerard Pique: 8/10
The season continues to be one to remember for Pique. The former Spanish international was utterly dominant at the back, barely letting Moussa Dembele have a look in. Read the game well when he was caught out of possession as well before capping off a solid game with a lung-busting run that ended with a goal.
Clement Lenglet: 7/10
The Lenglet-Umtiti rigmarole continued on Wednesday, with Lenglet starting this time. And, it looks like the shuffling will keep on happening for the foreseeable future, with the Frenchman being diligent in his duties, particularly when Lyon were in the ascendancy early in the second half.
Jordi Alba: 6/10
Unlike Roberto on the opposite flank, Alba had a much quieter outing on the defensive front, with Leo Dubois did not threatening much. When charging forward, the Spaniard did link up well with Coutinho, but often picked the wrong final pass. A rare day when his attacking game was slightly off.
Ivan Rakitic: 7/10
Another consistent showing from the reliable Croat, who kept things simple on the ball, particularly while linking up with Messi. One link-up, however, ended with the Argentine’s second goal, with Rakitic providing the pass for him. Looked a little leggy towards the end, and it seems like the minutes are starting to take a toll on him.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
For the most part, it was a composed showing by Busquets, who moved the ball along smartly while keeping Nabil Fekir in check. But, he was at fault for Tousart’s goal, with his weak clearance falling perfectly for the French midfielder. Such moments of lapses are starting to pile up dangerously now.
Back to full fitness and back to his very best. Arthur ran the show in the first half, pulling the strings from the middle of the park and setting the front men up effortlessly. The Brazilian had sent Luis Suarez through for Coutinho’s goal and set another chance up for Messi. Barcelona are at their best when they have Arthur in midfield.
Lionel Messi: 10/10
Lionel Messi vs Lyon:
48 passes (83%)
3 key passes
2 big chances created pic.twitter.com/sdoXNpoY6z
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 13, 2019
The Barcelona captain was in his elements on Wednesday, playing a part in just about every move. There was an element of luck associated with his first goal as Suarez was not fouled by Jason Denayer. But, he was as calm as he has ever been, dispatching a Panenka penalty with ease.
Scored his second of the night late on, but not before leaving Denayer and Marcelo on the ground. Could have scored a hat-trick on another day, with only brilliant effort from Anthony Lopes and Marcal denying him. But, Messi did cap off a perfect night with two brilliant assists, one for Pique and one for Dembele.
Luis Suarez: 8/10
Lucky to have won the penalty when he was the one who should have been the penalised in the incident. But, his assist for Coutinho was simply delightful, making a darting run before setting the Brazilian up with a perfect pass. Quietly effective for the rest of the game, the star striker kept on creating spaces for Messi with his movement. Getting back to his best.
Philippe Coutinho: 8/10
It had looked like his horrible performance against Rayo Vallecano was the last straw. But, Coutinho may have earned a lifeline after a solid showing on Wednesday. Was in the right place at the right time for his goal and constantly looked dangerous in the first half. But, he faded quite a bit after the break and was taken off for Dembele.
Ousmane Dembele: 7/10
On for Coutinho, Dembele showed little signs of his minor hamstring injury, looking bright and peppy. And, he ended the night with a goal after being set up by Messi, although he still had quite a bit to do, with his finish being top notch.
Arturo Vidal: 7/10
With Lyon meaning business in the second half, Valverde introduced Vidal, and the Chilean’s combative nature was exactly what Barcelona needed. Became the midfield enforcer, effectively ending the visitors’ hopes with his cameo.
Nelson Semedo: N/A
On for the last few minutes, Semedo was simply a fresh pair of legs.
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