Wasteful Barcelona could not convert any of their 25 shots in a goalless Champions League last-16 first-leg draw against Lyon.
Usually so proficient in front of goal, Barca’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho were all denied by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Lyon had chances, too, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen brilliantly tipped Martin Terrier’s long-range shot onto the bar.
The return leg takes place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, 13 March.
Champions Barca are top of La Liga, seven points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, but they have not won Europe’s premier competition since 2015 when they defeated Juventus in the final.
Going into this tie, Ernesto Valverde’s side were heavy favourites to progress to the quarter-finals for the 11th consecutive season, but their poor finishing leaves the tie in the balance.
The Catalans have now drawn four of their last five games in all competitions and should have netted twice in the opening four minutes but Ousmane Dembele scuffed off target and Messi dinked a free-kick over.
When Barca did call on Lopes, they found the Lyon number one in superb form, springing high in the second half to tip over Sergio Busquets’ drive, the best of his five saves in the game.
French club Lyon, the only side to beat runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris St-Germain this season, could have snatched a goal themselves but Houssem Aouar’s strike was pushed away by Germany international Ter Stegen and Memphis Depay screwed a shot wide from the angle.
Meanwhile, Some Liverpool fans might be disappointed with Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich, but I think Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be quite happy with how the tie is poised.
It is true that Liverpool did not create anything like the kind of chances they would normally do, but that was not because Klopp decided to ditch the attacking football that saw his side blow teams away on their way to last season’s final.
The reason this Champions League last-16 first leg was so cagey was not down to the Reds. It was because of Bayern’s defensive game plan, and how well they executed it.
I am not expecting their tactics to be dramatically different in the second leg next month but, even if the Bundesliga champions only push on a little more at home, that will suit Liverpool’s strength on the counter-attack.
I know Bayern’s home record in the Champions League is formidable – they have only suffered three defeats in their past 30 games since the end of 2013, all of them at the hands of Real Madrid, who went on to win the competition on each occasion.
But I would argue that their current team is quite average in comparison to the ones that have made the Allianz Arena such a fortress in the past five years.
When I look through the Bayern side, it does not really frighten me the way it did in the past when the likes of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben were in full flow.
Bayern are still a good side, though, and they are well-organised and clever. They had clearly done their homework and made very few mistakes defensively at Anfield, and at the back they read the game very well.
But they never really looked like getting an away goal, which means there is a good chance they will have to win the return on 13 March to go through.
If they go on the attack at any time, they have to be very wary of Liverpool’s threat on the counter.
It means the tie is left perfectly balanced. I am sure Bayern will believe the scenario suits them, but I would be confident Klopp’s side can go there and score, which is another reason why drawing 0-0 is not the worst result in the world.
I also think Liverpool will be much improved from the performances we saw from them on the road in the group stage, when they lost all three of their away games.
In many ways the tournament starts for real in the last 16, because this is such a step up in class, but Klopp’s side will be switched on and ready for the task ahead.
This game was seen as a test of how Liverpool would cope without the suspended Virgil van Dijk against Robert Lewandowski, and they kept the Poland striker very quiet.
That was largely down to Bayern’s tactics of course, because Lewandowski had no service and, especially in the second half, very little support.
I was still impressed by how well the Liverpool defence played, though, and it will have been a big confidence boost that they kept a clean sheet without their best defender.
Even with Bayern sitting back after the break, Liverpool’s defence still had to keep their concentration.
I was impressed by every member of their back four but, as a makeshift defender, Fabinho did particularly well.
He might usually be a defensive midfielder but the Brazilian looked comfortable throughout. At times he took a couple of chances with his tackling, but he always got it right.