Home » FC Bayern Munich defeated Lazio Rome in the Champions League and reached the quarter-finals

FC Bayern Munich defeated Lazio Rome in the Champions League and reached the quarter-finals

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FC Bayern Munich defeated Lazio Rome in the Champions League and reached the quarter-finals

It wasn’t that long ago that FC Bayern could almost always be relied on in crucial games where trophies or at least staying in the title race were at stake. Recently, this was no longer the case, which almost triggered an existential crisis for the German soccer record champions. Now the people of Munich are back in their usual we-are-there-when-it-matters mode. The 3-0 win in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Lazio Rome this Tuesday not only gave them a place in the quarter-finals, but also the hope that it can at least be a decent season in one competition.

Unlike in almost all games this year, they didn’t allow their performance to drop in the 90 minutes, showed a few very pleasant attacks and remained almost flawless in defense. Lazio tried to defend the 1-0 lead from the first leg with staid means and a compact defense, but this time failed due to more creative and accurate Bayern, for whom Harry Kane and Thomas Müller scored the goals.

“It’s a perfect evening. It was a big game. We were 1-0 down after the first leg, which was a big moment in our season. We showed a top performance,” said top scorer Kane on Prime Video and added with regard to the situation surrounding Tuchel: “It’s unusual. We have our responsibility as players in every game, in every competition. We can still improve.”

Before the game, Lazio’s supporters were noticed, but not in a positive way. Videos circulated on social media showing around 100 Roman fans shouting “Duce, Duce” and chanting fascist slogans at the Munich Hofbräuhaus. A few supporters also gave the Hitler salute. The fans of the Roman club include a large group of people who are considered right-wing supporters and who have attracted attention at Lazio games in the past with fascist slogans and signs. According to police, at least one of these incidents occurred on Monday evening.

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Tuchel injured his toe

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel described the game as a “big challenge” because the Romans, coached by Maurizio Sarri, are known for not conceding too many goals. The Bayern coach expected Lazio to “play on the counterattack and look for speed and runs in the last line”. On the one hand, his team has to “play with a cool head”, but on the other hand, they still have to “press the tempo emotionally”. During his energetic motivational speech before the game, Tuchel said after the final whistle, he kicked an object and injured his toe. During the encounter, he sprayed ice spray on his foot. “I was treated straight away, but I no longer had the courage to step out of the shoe because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back in,” said Tuchel. That’s why he “sat for 90 minutes” during the game.

Bayern tried to implement Tuchel’s instructions for the game, dominated the game and had a few chances, although they weren’t really compelling at first. Leroy Sané, who was recently injured, shot from the right, but the ball had no force and ended up in the hands of Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel (6th minute). Afterwards, Jamal Musiala was initially denied by two Romans who threw themselves into the path of the shot (8th) and later by Provedel (14th). And finally Harry Kane also sent the first sign of life, but his deflected header only earned a corner (17th).

But as sometimes happens when a team doesn’t capitalize on their superiority, the opponent suddenly appeared in front of Manuel Neuer’s goal. Bayern central defender Matthijs de Ligt extended a cross from Mattia Zaccagni to Ciro Immobile, but the usually accurate striker headed the ball wide from eleven meters.

Loudly cheered by the fans: Thomas Müller scored shortly before half-time to make it 2-0. : Image: Reuters

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Perhaps this best chance of the game up to that point was a bit of a wake-up call for the Munich team. Almost in return, Kane did what he was brought in from Tottenham to do last summer. After a ball relay in the Lazio penalty area, Raphael Guerreiro lifted the ball over the chain, Kane maneuvered the ball over the line with his forehead from close range to make it 1-0 for FC Bayern (39th). This meant that this round of 16 encounter was level again after the 0-1 defeat in the first leg three weeks ago.

The lead seemed to inspire the Munich team after their energy had waned somewhat after a good start. Just a minute later, Musiala curled the ball past the post. The redemptive second goal for Munich came before the break. After a corner, the Romans lost a bit of orientation in their own penalty area, did not disturb de Ligt and his shot was extended by Thomas Müller in the six-yard box – 2-0 (45th + 2). This time too, Provedel had no chance.

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The two-goal lead changed Lazio’s tactics in the second half. When trying to disrupt Munich, the team was no longer so deep and was already pressing in midfield. After all, she now had to score two goals to reach the quarter-finals. However, Bayern paid attention, hardly allowed themselves any mistakes and were already closer to 3-0 than Lazio were to scoring the next goal.

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After an hour the Italians seemed to give up. Sarri replaced Immobile, his most dangerous goalscorer. And shortly afterwards, Kane dispelled the last doubts about success for FC Bayern with his second goal. After Provedel couldn’t hold on to a shot from Sané, Kane was there and scored (66′). Bayern prevented another setback with their best performance of the second half of the season.

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