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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 25, 2009

Guardiola takes lesson from hard-won draw

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola feels his side could have learned a valuable lesson from Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Lyon where the Spanish giants were given a first-half footballing masterclass by the French outfit.

Both clubs went into the match boasting healthy advantages at the top of their respective leagues but it was Barca who were considered firm favourites to win the tie, and indeed among the most fancied sides to win the whole tournament.

However, Guardiola`s troops could have seen their dreams sunk during a hugely impressive opening period by Lyon where they scored a superb free-kick through Juninho and came close to netting further goals through star striker Karim Benzema, Ederson and Jean Makoun.

Barca managed to hold out though and after weathering the early storm fought their way back into the game and, after taking control, netted a deserved equaliser through France international Thierry Henry in the 67th minute.

That away goal has given Barca the upper hand in the tie, but Guardiola believes that`s not the only thing his side should be taking away from last night`s match.

"It`s a game from which we can draw many conclusions for the future. It`s a very good lesson for us and if we learn from it we will learn many things. This game could serve more use to me than the 30 before it," Guardiola told Canal Plus.

"We have to analyse it and see where we`ve failed.

"The game was very tough because we are in the last 16, where all the teams are very good and if don`t play at your best they can cause you a lot of problems."

"It`s been hard work to get back into the game, but we had a good second half and they haven`t had many chances."

Guardiola also refused to lay any blame at goalkeeper Victor Valdes` door for the goal that put Lyon ahead in the seventh minute.

Valdes was little more than a helpless spectator as dead-ball genius Juninho somehow managed to find the far top corner of the net from a free-kick out near the left touchline.

"It was a superb goal, not even with seven goalkeepers could we have stopped it. You simply have to congratulate Juninho," said Guardiola.

Centre-back Gerard Pique was also in upbeat mood following the result, even though Barca have now gone three successive matches without a win.

"I think the result of the game is very positive. They (Lyon) started out playing in a way that was very difficult for us," he said.

"In the second half we played more together and more compact and this has nullified their counter-attacks.

"The result gives us yet more confidence, so it`s a positive result and now we will look to settle the tie at home."

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