In a meeting of teams who have each lifted the European Cup five times and are second in their domestic leagues, there was little quality in front of goal as Liverpool battled Bayern Munich to 0-0 stalemate in at Anfield on Tuesday night.
After a nervy opening, Liverpool grew into their own, creating two chances within a minute. Mo Salah got a touch on Jordan Henderson’s long ball, but not enough to beat Manuel Neuer. Then Joel Matip’s clearance bounced off Alisson and clear as Serge Gnabry caused problems down the right. Joshua Kimmich picked up a yellow card in the first half, which sees him suspended for the second leg, as Bayern did all they could to stop Liverpool’s front three.In the second half, chances were even harder to come by as both sides struggled to find the final ball or breakdown the opposition.
Throughout the game, Bayern’s defensive display shone with Javi Martinez, Thiago and Mats Hummels the standouts. Liverpool couldn’t find a way through, and when they did Neuer was there.
Five minutes from time, Mane sent a diving header towards the near post via a slightly deflection off Niklas Süle’s thigh, but Neuer made a brilliant save low to his right to deny the forward.
On a quiet night in the competition, the other game between Lyon and Barcelona ended in a disappointing scoreless draw.
The La Liga leaders dominated the match at the Groupama stadium but lacked accuracy up front and were grateful to their goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stergen who made two great saves.
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 defence.Barca had a total of 25 shots but only five on target and their best chance came in the last minute when Sergio Busquets’s 18-metre attempt was tipped over the bar by Anthony Lopes.
The second leg will be at the Nou Camp on March 13th, a game where Lyon will welcome back France striker and captain Nabil Fekir, who was suspended on Tuesday.