Lyon manager Bruno Genesio believes his side’s 0-0 Champions League draw with Barcelona on Tuesday night demonstrates the progress they’ve made.
Les Gones had just five shots on goal compared to Barcelona’s 25 at the Groupama Stadium, but managed to keep the Catalans at bay for the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Despite being overwhelmed by Barcelona in France, Lyon did have their chances at snatching an unlikely victory with both Martin Terrier and Houssem Aouar being brilliantly denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay also had a chance on goal for Lyon, but could only shoot wide from an angle.
On the other hand, Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was in superb form and denied Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho in what proved to be a particularly busy night for the 28-year-old.
“Overall, this is a satisfactory result,” Genesio told OLTV.
“We will have chances to advance if we score at the Camp Nou. We hoped to do better in terms of our game. We were able to compete with our opponent in the first half.
“We had three good chances in the first half. We, unfortunately, suffered a lot in the second half and conceded too many chances. We were a little too passive… We would have liked to have been more aggressive… Our opponent didn’t allow us to do it.
“It’s important to emphasize the courage that the players showed, the way they defended. We stood up to the great Barça. The team is improving and maturing. Last year we would have lost this game.”
The return leg of Lyon’s last-16 tie against Barcelona will take place on March 13 at Camp Nou.
Genesio added: “We have every chance of qualifying and anything can happen in the second leg. We will have an additional advantage at the Camp Nou with the return of our captain, Nabil Fekir.
“It was a first Champions League knockout match for most of us. It wasn’t an easy match to prepare. We’re still alive.”
For now, the French giants will return to Ligue 1 action away to AS Monaco on Sunday where they hope to keep the pressure up on second-placed Lille OSC who they trail by four points in the standings.
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) February 19, 2019