Both teams had opportunities to register during the 90 minutes, but the result means that the tie is delicately poised ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on March 13.
Lyon were without captain Nabil Fekir for the first leg, with the 25-year-old missing out through suspension. The Frenchman has 11 goals in all competitions this season and his absence was a big blow for the hosts.
Key midfielder Tanguy Ndombele had been struggling with an ankle problem ahead of the match, but he was fit to start, while defenders Jason Denayer and Marcelo both overcame knocks to make the starting XI.
As for Barcelona, Thomas Vermaelen was unavailable after picking up a calf problem against Real Valladolid at the weekend, with the Belgian joining Rafinha, Jasper Cillessen and Arthur on the sidelines.
Samuel Umtiti made the bench against his former club, though, having recovered from a knee problem. Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo and Clement Lenglet all returned, but Philippe Coutinho was left on the bench once again with Ousmane Dembele starting alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the final third.
Barcelona had a golden chance to take the lead in the fifth minute when a poor challenge from Houssem Aouar, who picked up an early booking, handed Messi a free kick in a very dangerous position, but the Argentine clipped the ball harmlessly over the crossbar.
Less than one minute later, Lyon had an opportunity of their own, but Aouar's low strike was saved by Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who then had to push a powerful Martin Terrier effort onto the crossbar in the ninth minute.
Messi had a brilliant opportunity to make the breakthrough in the 17th minute when Jordi Alba found the attacker unmarked inside the Lyon box, but he fired his effort too high. Ousmane Dembele then saw his close-range effort kept out by the diving Anthony Lopes as chances continued to arrive.
Barcelona had a number of dangerous situations in the latter stages of the first half as they continued to break on the home side, but too often the final pass went astray.
Both teams had shots in the closing stages of the first 45 minutes, though, with Ousmane Dembele seeing his clever effort drop just wide before Terrier struck over the crossbar down the other end following a smart move.
The first serious opportunity of the second period fell to Memphis Depay in the 52nd minute, but the Netherlands international saw his curling effort just miss the far post.
Messi and Luis Suarez were both struggling to get going for Barcelona, though, and the match was still level entering the final 30 minutes in France.
Moussa Dembele almost worked a shooting position for Lyon in the 62nd minute having escaped the attention of Alba inside the Barcelona box, but Ter Stegen was out to make an excellent claim.
Luis Suarez sliced an Alba cross wide of the Lyon post in the 70th minute, before the former just failed to meet a cross from the latter five minutes later, which would have surely brought the opening goal.
Lopes made a stunning save to keep out a powerful Sergio Busquets strike five minutes from time, before Luis Suarez somehow headed a Messi strike wide of the post from close range as the pressure from Barcelona continued.
Messi had another opportunity to register from a free kick in a dangerous area late on, but the South American hit the wall once again, which summed up what was an incredibly frustrating night for the Spanish champions.
LYON (4-2-3-1): Lopes; Dobois, Denayer, Marcelo, Mendy; Aouar, Ndombele (Chiekh 84'); Terrier (Cornet 76'), Depay, Traore (Tousart 69'); M Dembele
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Roberto (Vidal 81'); O Dembele (Coutinho 67'), L Suarez, Messi