Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

Reuters, LIVERPOOL, England

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer gathers the ball during their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 match against Liverpool at Anfield in Liverpool, England, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Bayern Munich on Tuesday showed all their UEFA Champions League experience and quality organization as they held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the last 16 at Anfield in a game of few chances and little drama.

The result leaves it all to play for in the second leg in Munich on March 13.

Bayern showed their pragmatic calmness to subdue Liverpool’s normally lively front three.

“That we managed to restrict them to very few chances shows that we played very well tactically,” Bayern coach Niko Kovac said.

Mohamed Salah had one of his poorest displays in this competition.

Essential to Liverpool’s rearguard resilience was midfielder Fabinho, who deputized well in the central-defensive role, keeping Bayern’s scoring threat, Robert Lewandowski, quiet.

In midfield, Jordan Henderson broke up Bayern’s attempts to create and also contributed some drive to Liverpool’s forward thrusts.

In the first period, Henderson found Salah, but his toe-poke at full stretch was straight at Manuel Neuer. At the other end, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker had to keep out a mishit clearance from Joel Matip that hit him in the chest.

Bayern were content to sit deep after the break and the closest Juergen Klopp’s side came in the second half was a diving header from Sadio Mane in the 86th minute, which Neuer pushed around the post.


Reuters, LYON, France

Barcelona were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday in their UEFA Champions League first leg of the last 16, as both sides remained unbeaten in this season’s competition.

The leaders of La Liga dominated the match at the Groupama Stadium, but lacked accuracy up front.

Lyon were lively in the first half, but ran out of steam after the break and were holding on in the closing stages as Lionel Messi tried in vain to open up the home defense.

Barca had 25 shots, but only five on target. Their best chance came in the final minute when Sergio Busquets’ attempt was tipped over the bar by Anthony Lopes.

The second leg will be at Camp Nou on March 13.

Barca dominated possession early on, but Lyon had the first two shots on target. It took a couple of superb saves from Marc-Andre ter Stegen to deny the hosts, who never came that close again.

Barca forward Ousmane Dembele came close in the 19th minute when he dribbled past Leo Dubois on the left flank, only for goalkeeper Lopes to deny him in a one-on-one.

A Dembele attempt shaved Lopes’ post before Martin Terrier skied his shot over the bar after a superb series of one-twos tore the Barca defense apart as both sides tried to break the deadlock.

Lyon were under siege early in the second period, but their defense was perfectly marshalled by Jason Denayer, with Dubois also proving decisive against Luis Suarez.

Lopes beat Messi’s angled shot away to keep his side level before Dembele was replaced by Philippe Coutinho, who had a clear chance in the 76th minute, but was denied by in-form Lopes.

Barca have failed to win any of their past six away games in the Champions League knockout stage.

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