FC Barcelona are in familiar territory. Having drawn the first leg against Olympique Lyonnais, Barça need a result at the Camp Nou to advance into the next stage of the UEFA Champions League. That’s a situation they already went through in the 2008-2009 season under Pep Guardiola.
In that season’s round of 16, Barça drew the first leg in France 1-1. Juninho Pernambucano, one of the best free-kick specialists of all time, opened the scoring from an improbable angle from a set piece. Thierry Henry would equalize in the second half after a corner kick was headed on by Rafa Márquez and tucked in by a diving header from the Frenchman.
This was a Lyon that boasted a young Karim Benzema upfront and a young Hugo Lloris at goalkeeper. Miralem Pjanić was a bench player for them, as was Kim Källström. A couple of veterans rounded out the squad like Jérémy Toulalan, FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Grosso, Cris (who now manages Lyon’s youth team), and César “Chelito” Delgado.
It was a legendary Barcelona team in the making that Guardiola was in charge of, with Henry, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi upfront. Other legends like Víctor Valdés, Gerard Piqué, Dani Alves, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, and Carles Puyol were in the team. Yaya Touré still started many matches, and Sergio Busquets was just finding his feet in his first year in the first team.
The return leg was an entirely different affair. Barcelona opened up a 4-0 lead in the first half after a brace from Henry, a goal from Messi, and one more from Eto’o. Jean Makou would pull one back for Lyon before the end of the half, making it 4-1 at halftime. Quickly after the restart, Juninho scored to make it 4-2, meaning Lyon could knock out the Catalans with two more goals thanks to the away goals rule.
However, that wasn’t to be, and instead Juninho was sent off in injury time before Seydou Keita scored the final goal to make it 5-2 on the night, and 6-3 on aggregate.
That team would go on to win a historic treble.
Once again Barcelona are in the round of 16 and alive in the other two competitions as well. Once again they drew away to Lyon, although this time 0-0, so lacking an away goal. However, they have all to play for at the Camp Nou.
Can this Barcelona repeat that feat?