35 min “Did anyone ever see such greats as Matthews, Best, Pele or Eusebio take a dive?” says Duncan Edwards. “Very poor last night from Juve and again from Suárez there. Sad, really. Yeah I know, I’m an old fart with nostalgia-tinted glasses.”
As am I. But Pele knew how to dive, didn’t he?
34 min The keeper Anthony Lopes cannot continue, presumably because of concussion. He walks from the field in tears, applauded by both sets of fans, to be replaced by Mathieu Gorgelin.
32 min That was beautiful play from Suarez. He received a crisp pass on the edge of the area, from Arthur I think. The first touch drew Marcal towards the ball, but before he could get there Suarez was away and into the area.
GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Lyon (Coutinho 31)
Barcelona are coasting into the quarter-finals. Suarez beats Marcal superbly on the edge of the area to move through on goal. He could score himself but instead slides the ball to the left for Coutinho, who walks it in from seven yards.
29 min Lopes is called into action, leaping to his left to save a fierce curling shot from Suarez. He palms it into a dangerous area towars Rakitic, who slams the bouncing ball over the bar.
26 min After almost five minutes of treatment, Lopes is helped to his feet. Gorgelin was ready to replace him but it looks like he’s going to continue. Hmm.
24 min Lopes is conscious, but he’s still lying down and looks really groggy.
23 min Lopes looks in a bad way, and the reserve keeper Mathieu Gorgelin is warming up.
21 min Lopes makes a terrific save from Coutinho, and is booted in the face in the process. Suarez put the loose ball into the net but the referee had already blown for a foul by Coutinho. It wasn’t deliberate – he poked a shot that was superbly saved by the sprawling Lopez, and his momentum took him into the keeper.
20 min: What a chance for Lyon! Dembele slides an angled pass to Debay, who moves into the area and then eases the ball back to Dembele on the edge of the box. He takes a touch and sweeps a shot that takes a slight deflection off the charging Lenglet and flashes just wide of the post. Ter Stegen was beaten.
GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Lyon (Messi 18 pen)
Messi dinks a slow-motion penalty straight down the middle. Lovely. That’s one of the slowest Panenka I’ve ever seen.
PENALTY TO BARCELONA!
16 min Suarez plays a one-two with Messi, feels contact from Denayer and goes down. It was a silly and needless challenge from Denayer, however much Suarez made of it, and a clear penalty.
15 min Though Lyon are not without menace in attack – Fekir looks particularly good on the ball – it feels like a matter of time before Barcelona score.
14 min Busquets clips a pass over the top to Messi, who tries to control it and go round the outrushing Lopes in the same movement. Lopes does very well to dive to his left and paw the ball away.
13 min “Hello Rob,” says Kari Tulinius. “One of the pleasures of watching games from the Camp Nou is how high up the main camera is placed. It’s nice to see so much of the field of play, especially given how intricately Barcelona can play at their
I’ve always loved a Tactical Cam, ever since the days of John Beck’s Cambridge. Sometimes you could even see the ball.
10 min Lyon’s first sustained attack. Eventually the ball is cleared to Ndombele, who belts a low shot wide from 25 yards.
7 min Barcelona have started brilliantly. The ball ricochets around the Lyon area and falls for Coutinho, who tees up Rakitic on the edge of the area. His stinging first-time shot is blocked by Denayer, though replays show it was going wide.
4 min Lovely play from Barcelona. Coutinho plays a one-two with Suarez and finds Messi, who cracks a curling half-volley from inside the D that is pushed acrobatically round the post by Lopes. Good save, that, if slightly cameraman-friendly.
3 min Messi slithers away from Dubois and frees Coutinho down the left. He has Suarez in space at the far post but puts his low cross too close to Lopes, who scampers from his line to claim. That was a good chance for Barcelona, and a pretty poor pass from Coutinho.
2 min “For me it’s ‘Thank a Weather Forecaster for actually getting it right’ day,” says Sarah Rothwell. “I’m following from my comfy home instead of stuck outside in raging blizzard. At least until the power goes out. Want to get out of Denver today? Good luck to you!!”
1 min Peep peep! Lyon, in their orange third kit, kick off from right to left. Barcelona are in red and blue.
The players emerge from the tunnel, all looking pretty relaxed. Let’s cook.
“Rob,” writes Richard Arthur. “Is ‘Memphis Debay’ any relation to Memphis Depay of Lyon, who used to be the next best thing at Man U?”
No. But it’s an easy mistake to make so please don’t beat yourself up.
“I’m sure I read somewhere earlier that it’s ‘Thank a Journalist Day’,” says Matt Dony. “I’m sure I speak for the dozens of people following your MBM of Lyon teaching Barca a footballing lesson(!) when I say, ‘Thanks, Rob.’ Now, when is ‘Thank a QC & Compliance Manager’ day?”
Thank a Journalist Day! Brass Eye is back, is it.
There’s another Champions League match tonight, and you’re already following that, aren’t you.
Some pre-match reading from Our Sid
Philippe Coutinho starts for Barcelona, despite the boos, while Lyon have switched to a back three.
Barcelona (4-3-3) ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.
Substitutes: Cillessen, Semedo, Dembele, Malcom, Vidal, Umtiti, Alena.
Lyon (3-4-1-2) Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Dubois, Ndombele, Tousart,Mendy; Fekir; Dembele, Memphis.
Substitutes: Gorgelin, Rafael, Aouar, Traore, Tete, Cheikh, Cornet.
Referee Szymon Marciniak (Poland).
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Barcelona’s comfortable victory over Lyon at the Camp Nou. That’s the general expectation of tonight’s match, but the last 16 of this season’s Champions League has given such assumptions one hell of a beating.
The first leg in France was a low-key 0-0 draw, though Lyon were without their influential captain Nabil Fekir through suspension. He, Memphis Debay and Moussa Dembele will be a threat on the counter, and the lack of an away goal may yet come back to haunt Barcelona. Or Lionel Messi may see Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick last night and raise it. I’ll level with you, mate: I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen.
It’s been a slightly strange few years for Barcelona – regularly the best team in Spain, rarely been the best Spanish team in Europe. They’ve been past the quarter-finals only once in the last six seasons, when they won the competition in 2014-15.
Valencia and the two Madrid clubs are out of this year’s competition, and if Barcelona lose tonight there will be no Spanish quarter-finalists for only the second time since Champions League quarter-finals were introduced back in 1994-95. But that’s not going to happen, because they’re going to win comfortably. Right?
Kick off is at 8pm.