Dembele worry for Barcelona ahead of Lyon showdown

Messi scores, assists as Barca keeps comfortable Liga lead

Messi scores, assists as Barca keeps comfortable Liga lead

Unfortunately for Rayo they couldn't hold on until half time with Gerard Pique getting his head on the end of a Lionel Messi free kick, heading the ball home to get Barca back on level terms. The two played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg in France, and with no away goals scored by Barca, the team enters this match in the risky situation of a draw seeing a crash out of the competition.

Incisive winger Dembele helped Barca to a 3-1 win after coming off the bench with the team struggling to break down the La Liga minnows, with Coutinho failing to provide any spark or combine with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Coutinho, 26, became Barca's record signing in January 2018 when he signed from Liverpool for £142m.

Coutinho was taken off with 10 minutes remaining and received a smattering of boos from the Barca fans, and his replacement Rakitic had an instant impact, darting into the area to reach a pass and promptly laying it off to Suarez to score.

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Barcelona stayed seven points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which beat Leganes 1-0.

"We have had a very tough run of games, in theory today's should have been easier but we know that these games are very hard to play", Pique told reporters.

"I don't really understand the question, when you're asking about a defensive team are you referring to Lyon or to us?" he responded, before a sarcastic follow-up.

With their lead at the top of La Liga restored, Barcelona will now turn their attentions to the Champions League where they'll host Lyon in their Round of 16 clash on Wednesday night - with the aggregate score still level at 0-0.

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