Suarez is still brilliant at his best
Lionel Messi will take most of the headlines for his inspirational performance against Lyon, but Luis Suarez deserves huge credit for the role he played in dismantling the French side.
The Uruguayan won the penalty for the opening goal, unselfishly set up Philippe Coutinho for the second and gave Marcelo nightmares with a filthy turn.
The only thing missing was a goal, but Suarez is not worried by his European goal drought:
“I’m excited to get through, the team’s growing in confidence and into the next round,” he said. ”It’s true that strikers live for goals, but the goals will come.”
Source | Sport
Suarez has failed to score in the Champions League this season and has gone almost a year without finding the back of the net in Europe’s top competition.
However, if he continues to play like this then Barcelona have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Umtiti faces a fight to regain place from Lenglet
Clement Lenglet was back in central defence against Lyon, with fit-again Samuel Umtiti denied the chance to take on his former side.
It proved to be the right choice by Ernesto Valverde, as the former Sevilla defender put in a confident performance alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of the Barca defence.
He put in a great block to deny Moussa Dembele in the first half with the scores still at 1-0 and put in one of his best performances of the season.
The only downside was a yellow card for a foul on Nabil Fekir early in the second half, his first of the tournament so far.
Umtiti may have expected to slot straight back into the starting XI after returning to fitness, but on this evidence he has his work cut out if he’s going to oust Lenglet.
Coutinho earns some respite
Philippe Coutinho was handed another chance to impress due to Ousmane Dembele’s injury and scored his first Champions League goal for Barcelona since October in an improved showing.
The Brazilian linked well with Suarez and Messi throughout the game, and Barcelona will be hoping he can take confidence from his showing.
Coutinho admitted after the match that’s he not been playing well over the last few months.
Coutinho: In the last few weeks, months even, I've not been playing well. But I still want to improve. I came to Barcelona to give my best. I live for the moment. You never know what the future holds. I am happy with my performance today.— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) March 13, 2019
The problem for Coutinho is that he was replaced by Dembele with 25 minutes to go, and Barcelona went on to score three more times.
However, Barcelona have since confirmed that Dembele will miss the next three to four weeks with a hamstring injury which surely means more chances for Coutinho.