Brutal Bayern Put Four Past Lazio in Champions League Match-Up

A brutal reality check for Lazio. The Biancocelesti came into tonight’s game at the Stadio Olimpico undefeated in six Champions League matches but ended up slaughtered by incumbent European Champions Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Round of 16 match-up.

Hans-Dieter Flick’s Bavarians put four past the Aquile before Joaquin Correa could score one for Simone Inzaghi’s side. For what seen on the pitch, Lazio can be happy that the gap didn’t up being larger than three goals.

Their chances to make it to the next round are obviously reduced to zero as a patched-up version of Bayern (with players the likes of Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, Benjamin Pavard, and Douglas Costa all missing) was enough to dispose of a Biancocelesti side whose defensive line faltered as soon as the men in red crossed the midfield line.

Bayern eventually hit the brakes – which is something not to be taken for granted, as Barcelona may remember – and the match might even have looked like a balanced one to somebody who turned the TV around the 50th minute of play, but enough damage had been done by then. 

The first half was a slasher movie with Inzaghi’s side playing the part of the victim. Bayern’s start was aggressive and, despite Lazio defending themselves with order and trying to punish them on the counter, the pressure soon induced the Biancocelesti into mistake.

The first victim of the pressure was Mateo Musacchio who, on 8 minutes, came up with an incredible blunder that paved the way to the visitors’ opener. The Argentine center-back attempted a risky back pass for Pepe Reina, failing to notice that Robert Lewandowski was lurking in the area. The Pole couldn’t ask for anything better and didn’t lose time to push the ball into the back of the net despite Reina’s desperate attempt to stop him.

Lazio risked conceding the second on the counter but managed to re-balance themselves and, on 17 minutes, reclaimed a penalty as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was fouled in the box. However, an offside position cancelled the opportunity.

But the illusion was short-lasting, as Bayern made it two the next time they showed themselves around Reina’s area. It was a matter of three passes, with Alphonso Davies besting Manuel Lazzari and serving Leon Goretzska, who in turn set 17-year-old Jamal Musiala free to shot and find the bottom right corner of the net from outside of the box.

With the game slipping out of his hands, Simone Inzaghi had to take drastic measures and replaced Musacchio with Senad Lulic. But it was a no go. Bayern’s pressure across the pitch was overwhelming and the Biancocelesti scrambled to maintain the gap to two goals only.

Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman continued to rip to pieces Lazzari and Patric on the left flank. On 42 minutes, a mistake from the Brazilian center-back left the former Juventus man free to ignite a deadly breakaway, which Leroy Sané finalized for the best after Reina had stopped Coman’s first shot.  

The half time whistle came as a gift of mercy for the dazed and confused Biancocelesti.

Could it get worse than that for Lazio?

Yes, it could. Francesco Acerbi was the only missing defender in tonight’s hall of shame and he felt compelled to oblige right after the restart, pushing the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a Sané cross – once again from the left side.

Good for the Biancocelesti that Joaquin Correa didn’t want to give up as, on 50 minutes, he scored one for the honor at the end of a fine dribbling effort into Bayern’s box. He then tried to replicate his exploit with a right-foot curl, but was denied by Manuel Neuer this time.

Inzaghi felt that perhaps there was still hope and sent in Wesley Hoedt for a confused Patric and Gonzalo Escalante to replace an evanescent Lucas Leiva. The result was that the home side somehow manage to placate the Bavarians’ fury, though Reina still had some work to do to prevent the visitors from making it five.

The match tempo inevitably slowed down and Bayern Munich comfortably wrapped their 1-4 win to set one foot and a half into the Champions League Quarter Finals. Lazio will need a miracle in two weeks, if only to avoid another hammering in the reverse fixture. 



February 23, 2021 – Champions League 2020-21 Round of 16

SCORERS: 9′ Lewandowski (B), 24′ Musiala (B), 42′ Sané (B), 46′ Acerbi (L, o.g.), 49′ Correa (L)

LAZIO (3-5-2): Reina; Patric (53′ Hoedt), Acerbi, Musacchio (30′ Lulic); Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic (81′ Cataldi), Lucas Leiva (53′ Escalante), Luis Alberto (81′ Akpa Akpro), Marusic; Correa, Immobile (Strakosha, Alia, Caicedo, Fares, Muriqi, Parolo, Pereira) Coach: S. Inzaghi
BAYERN MUNICH (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Süle, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka (63′ Javi Martinez); Sané (89′ Sarr), Musiala (89′ Choupo-Moting), Coman (75′ Hernandez); Lewandowski (Hoffmann, Roca) Coach: Flick
REFEREE: Grinfeld (Israel)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Luis Alberto, Lucas Leiva, Correa, Marusic, Escalante (L), Kimmich, Coman (B); Extra Time: First Half 1′, Second Half 4′