Champions League: Jurgen Klopp not over the moon as Liverpool are held by Bayern
Last-16 first leg encounter at Anfield was not a game to remember
Four clubs, two ties and 180 minutes of football - but not a goal to be seen.
That was the outcome of last night’s Champions League round of 16 first-leg matches between Liverpool and Bayern Munich at Anfield, and Lyon against Barcelona in France.
The results mean that Bayern and Barca will both fancy their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals when the last-16 second legs take place on Wednesday 13 March.
Under the moon
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp tried to put a positive spin on the Anfield stalemate but the German will know the size of the challenge facing his players in Munich next month.
“I’m not over the moon but I’m completely OK with the game,” said Klopp, whose side lacked a creative spark against a negative Bayern outfit.
“We can play better. We should play better. In the first half we had the bigger chances. I can’t remember any chances for either side in the second half. It wasn’t a Champions League night from that point of view.”
It was more a snore draw, one of those games that will be forgotten by the end of the week.
Liverpool managed only a couple of shots on goal, through Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, while Bayern didn’t muster so much as a solitary effort.
It was that sort of match, one that bored even Klopp, who in the build-up had predicted a “blockbuster”. “Not a lot of things happened,” he admitted. “It was not a game we will remember.”
Bayern were more buoyant at the end of the borefest, with head coach Niko Kovac delighted with the way his side had parked their bus at Anfield.
“I can’t remember too many clubs who have avoided defeat and kept a clean sheet here,” he boasted. “The fact that we managed to restrict them to very few chances shows that we played very well tactically as well as technically.”
Barca draw a blank
There was a similar goalless scoreline in Lyon, although at least Barcelona did try to put the ball in the back of their opponents’ net. But despite 25 shots, the Spanish giants failed to score as Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes denied Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.
Lyon had their moments as well, with Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen pulling off smart saves to prevent Martin Terrier and Houssem Aouar breaking the deadlock.
Barcelona remain favourites to reach the last eight but their coach, Ernesto Valverde, will need no reminding that Lyon pulled off a shock victory at Manchester City in the group stage.
“We are strong at home but there’s no denying that 0-0 away from home is a dangerous result,” he said. “My feeling is that we played well, we were switched on. I think that we deserved a better result and did enough to win. It just wasn't our night.”
Champions League results, fixtures and TV guide
Last-16 first-leg results
- Manchester United 0 Paris Saint-Germain 2
- AS Roma 2 FC Porto 1
- Ajax 1 Real Madrid 2
- Tottenham Hotspur 3 Borussia Dortmund 0
- Liverpool 0 Bayern Munich 0
- Lyon 0 Barcelona 0
Wednesday 20 February: first-leg fixtures
- Atlético Madrid vs. Juventus (8pm, live on BT Sport 3)
- FC Schalke vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 2)
Last-16 second-leg fixtures Tuesday 5 March
- Borussia Dortmund vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-3 on aggregate; 8pm, live on BT Sport)
- Real Madrid vs. Ajax (2-1 on aggregate; 8pm, live on BT Sport)
Wednesday 6 March
- FC Porto vs. Roma (1-2 on aggregate; 8pm, live on BT Sport)
- Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester United (2-0 on aggregate; 8pm, live on BT Sport)
Tuesday 12 March
- Juventus vs. Atlético Madrid (8pm, live on BT Sport)
- Manchester City vs. FC Schalke (8pm, live on BT Sport)
Wednesday 13 March
- Barcelona vs. Lyon (8pm, live on BT Sport)
- Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on BT Sport)