Stade de Gerland - Lyon 24/02/2009 - 20:45CET (20:45 local time)

Round of 16, First leg

Lyon - Barcelona
1-1

Lyon - Barcelona 1-1 - 24/02/2009 - Match page - UEFA Champions League 2009

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Henry header brings Barça reward

Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 0.50CET
Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 FC Barcelona
A diving header from Thierry Henry cancelled out Juninho Pernambucano's spectacular early free-kick to secure the Liga leaders the edge in the tie.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade Gerland
Henry header brings Barça reward
Thierry Henry wheels away after making it 1-1 ©Getty Images
SSI Err
Published: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 0.50CET

Henry header brings Barça reward

Olympique Lyonnais 1-1 FC Barcelona
A diving header from Thierry Henry cancelled out Juninho Pernambucano's spectacular early free-kick to secure the Liga leaders the edge in the tie.

Thierry Henry scored on his return to France to cancel out Juninho Pernambucano's early free-kick, as FC Barcelona came through a severe test against a vibrant Olympique Lyonnais side and will take a narrow advantage into second leg of their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie.

Contrasting halves
Having suffered a surprise defeat against RCD Espanyol on Saturday, Josep Guardiola's men were hoping for a reassuring performance against the French champions but quickly found themselves under intense pressure. After Juninho's majestic set-piece on seven minutes OL created several more chances, Karim Benzema notably failing to convert a one-on-one and later striking a post. They would live to rue those misses as the visitors gradually improved, Samuel Eto'o also hitting the woodwork before Henry eventually found a way through on 69 minutes.

Familiar strike
These two sides found the net 32 times between them in the group stage so it came as little surprise to see the deadlock broken inside seven minutes. The source of the opener was also familiar as Juninho registered the 43rd free-kick goal of his Lyon career and one of his most spectacular. Positioned close to the left touchline, the Brazilian curled the ball superbly over goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, who had advanced slightly anticipating a cross, and into the top corner.

Lyon on top
The hosts had actually begun tentatively yet Juninho's wonderful strike dispelled any lingering nerves and they were soon threatening again, Benzema racing through before shooting wide. Barcelona appeared shaken and Valdés was grateful to see another Juninho set-piece blocked by his wall before Ederson and Jean II Makoun missed from long range. With both sides springing forward at every opportunity the contest was breathless and neither defence appeared in control, a slip by Cris allowing Eto'o to burst clear for a shot that came back off the post.

Thrilling contest
If the Azulgrana thought that had marked the end of Lyon's dominance, Benzema had other ideas, setting up Kader Keita, who volleyed wide, then crashing a superb 20-metre shot against the base of the upright. Benzema looked set to score the goal his performance deserved when Keita roared up the right and squared towards the unmarked striker, yet Valdés intercepted at full stretch. The action was relentless and Barcelona threatened again before the break, Sergio Busquets heading over from point-blank range.

Henry levels
The pace slowed in the second half as Lyon dropped deeper and, though Juninho tested Valdés with another free-kick, Barça monopolised possession and began increasing the pressure. Daniel Alves was close to emulating his compatriot's first-half exploits but his deflected free-kick was brilliantly clawed out by a wrong-footed Hugo Lloris. The Lyon goalkeeper produced another fine reaction stop from Gerard Piqué's header before Henry struck, nodding in at the far post after Xavi Hernández's corner had been flicked on by Rafael Márquez.

Lyon lose steam
The goal took the wind out of the Lyon sails and despite the introductions of César Delgado and Kim Källström and, in the final moments, Miralem Pjanić, Claude Puel's side rarely looked dangerous thereafter. Barcelona, meanwhile, appeared content to hold on to the scoreline that makes them favourites at the Camp Nou on 11 March.

Last updated: 25/02/09 9.48CET

Related information

Team profiles
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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15277/match=302789/postmatch/report/index.html#henry+header+brings+barca+reward

Lineups

lyon

Lyon

barcelona

Barcelona

1
LlorisHugo Lloris (GK)
1
Víctor ValdésVíctor Valdés (GK)
3
CrisCris
Yellow Card87
3
PiquéGerard Piqué
4
BoumsongJean-Alain Boumsong
4
MárquezRafael Márquez
7
EdersonEderson
Substitution65
5
PuyolCarles Puyol (C)
Yellow Card61
8
JuninhoPernambucano Juninho (C)
Goal7
Substitution79
6
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
10
BenzemaKarim Benzema
9
Eto'oSamuel Eto'o
11
GrossoFabio Grosso
Yellow Card32
10
MessiLionel Messi
15
MensahJohn Mensah
14
HenryThierry Henry
Goal67
17
MakounJean Makoun
20
Daniel AlvesDaniel Alves
Yellow Card34
23
KeïtaKader Keïta
Substitution88
24
Y. TouréYaya Touré
28
ToulalanJérémy Toulalan
Yellow Card24
28
BusquetsSergio Busquets
Yellow Card63
Substitution77

Substitutes

30
VercoutreRémy Vercoutre (GK)
13
PintoJosé Manuel Pinto (GK)
6
KällströmKim Källström
Substitution79
2
Martín CáceresMartín Cáceres
18
PjanićMiralem Pjanić
Substitution88
7
GudjohnsenEidur Gudjohnsen
19
DelgadoCésar Delgado
Substitution65
11
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
27
MounierAnthony Mounier
15
KeitaSeydou Keita
Substitution77
32
GassamaLamine Gassama
16
SylvinhoSylvinho
39
PiquionneFrédéric Piquionne
21
HlebAleksandr Hleb

Coach

Claude Puel (FRA) Josep Guardiola (ESP)

Referee

Wolfgang Stark (GER)

Assistant referees

Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER), Mike Pickel (GER)

Fourth official

Markus Schmidt (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution

See also

  • SSI Err
  • SSI Err
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