Opinions are divided as to whether a goalless draw in France was a good or a bad result for FC Barcelona’s Champions League interests. So, we decided to flick through the history books to get a sense of perspective, and it turns out that 0-0 away has generally worked out fine in the end.
Barça have taken a 0-0 draw in the first leg back to Camp Nou on four occasions in the European Cup/Champions League and have progressed every time, twice in the same season in the seventies, once against a Ronald Koeman managed Benfica en route to winning the trophy in 2006, and again against Milan seven years ago.
1974/75 Round of 32
FC Barcelona 5 (Asensi, Clares 2, Juan Carlos, Rexach) VÖEST Linz 0
1974/75 Round of 16
FC Barcelona 3 (Rexach 3) Feyenoord 0
2005/06 Quarter Final
FC Barcelona 2 (Ronaldinho, Eto’o) Benfica 0
2012/12 Quarter Final
FC Barcelona 3 (Messi 2, Iniesta) AC Milan 1
Curiously, however, when drawing 0-0 away in the first leg of other European competitions, the comeback hasn’t always been as good. That scoreline has seen Barça ultimately go out to Austria Vienna in the Cup Winners’ Cup of 1982/83 and in the UEFA/Fairs Cup to Strasbourg (1964/65), Bayer Leverkusen (1987/88) and Liverpool (2000/01).
Things were far more positive in 1958/60 against Birmingham City (4-1) and 1965/66 against Utrecht (7-1).
It is also worth looking back at how Olympique Lyonnais have performed at Camp Nou over the years. In four visits (one friendly and three in the UCL) the French side have been beaten every time.
FC Barcelona 7 (Zaldua 2, Gallego, Pereda, Fuste, Juanito, Rosello) Lyon 1
2002/02 Champions League Group Stage
FC Barcelona 2 (Kluivert, Luis Enrique) Olympique Lyon 0
2007/08 Champions League Group Stage
FC Barcelona 3 (own goal, Messi, Henry) Olympique Lyon 0
2008/09 Champions League Round of 16
FC Barcelona 5 (Henry 2, Messi, Eto’o, Keita) Olympique Lyon 2
Not forgetting as well that FC Barcelona that Barça are on a run of eleven consecutive Champions League Round of 16 victories at Camp Nou, and with 26 wins and three draws are unbeaten at home in 29 games in the competition.