Match report – Barcelona held to a historic goalless draw by Olympiacos

Barcelona failed to score in a Champions League group stage game for the first time in five years as Olympiacos held them to a goalless draw.

Victory in Greece would have booked Barca’s passage to the knock-out phase but the three points proved elusive on a night when Luis Suarez hitting the top of the crossbar was as close as the visitors came.

The last time they could not find the net in a group-stage fixture was against Benfica in December 2012, when their qualification had already been assured, but Juventus’ draw with Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night means Barca at least remain three points clear at the top of Group D.

Star man

Leonardo Koutris. Take nothing away from Olympiacos, they defended manfully and young full-back Koutris was probably the stand-out performer. It was no surprise he was suffering from cramp late on given the shift he put in.

Stat of the match

Barcelona had scored in 27 successive Champions League group stage games before being kept at bay here. They had only failed to score in one of their previous 47 group stage contests.

In with the crowd

The Olympiacos supporters certainly played their part in creating a cauldron of noise that at one point caused a mix-up between Samuel Umtiti and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. There was a huge din every time Barca went forward in the second half and it had an impact on them.

Player ratings

Olympiacos: Silvio Proto 8, Omar Elabdellaoui 7, Alberto Botia 9, Bjorn Engels 8, Leonardo Koutris 9, Diogo Figueiras 7, Alaixys Romao 7, Panagiotis Tachtsidis 8, Vadis Odjidja 7, Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez 7, Kostas Fortounis 8. Subs: Guillaume Gillet (on for Odjidja, 75) 6, Felipe Pardo (on for Carcela-Gonzalez, 78) 7, Uros Djurdjevic (on for Fortounis, 84) 6.Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 6, Nelson Semedo 5, Javier Mascherano 6, Samuel Umtiti 6, Jordi Alba 6, Sergi Roberto 5, Sergio Busquets 5, Paulinho 5, Lionel Messi 7, Luis Suarez 5, Denis Suarez 6. Subs: Gerard Deulofeu (on for Roberto, 45) 6, Ivan Rakitic (on for Paulinho, 62) 7, Andre Gomes (on for Denis Suarez, 76) 6.

Who’s up next?

Olympiacos v Platanias (Super League Greece, November 5)

Barcelona v Sevilla (LaLiga, November 4)

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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