Skip to main content


Bayern Munich beaten at Lazio in first leg of Champions League last 16 to pile pressure on Tuchel

Lazio Celebrates Lazio Celebrates - The Canadian Press

ROME (AP) — High and wide. Headers and half-volleys. Free kicks and more.

No matter what Bayern Munich tried, the German club simply couldn’t find the goal.

None of Bayern’s 16 shots were on target Wednesday in a 1-0 loss at Lazio in the first leg of the Champions League’s round of 16.

Four days after a damaging loss in the Bundesliga, Bayern again didn’t meet expectations.

Lazio captain Ciro Immobile converted a penalty kick when Bayern was reduced to 10 men midway through the second half after the German club failed to capitalize on a series of chances.

“It’s been a tough week,” Bayern striker Harry Kane said. "We started well and had some clear chances. I had one, Jamal (Musiala) had one, Josh (Kimmich) had one from the edge of the box. In these games, those are big moments which we weren’t able to take.”

Kane was set up by Thomas Müller directly in front of the goal seven minutes in but missed high with a half-volley.

“They’re the ones you want and I just leaned back," Kane said. "That’s football and part of being a striker: you’re going to miss them now and again. The main thing for me and the team is to focus on the next challenge. We’re in a difficult spell, there’s no hiding that. We’re not out of it and we’ll never give up. One spark can change a lot and we need to try to find that.”

Together with the 3-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, the result puts pressure on Bayern and coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of the return leg March 5.

“From my perspective, we produced a reaction (to the Leverkusen loss) in the first half,” Bayern's Thomas Müller said. “We should definitely have taken the lead in the first half. If we’re talking about a reaction, you can’t always discuss the result – which is of course a nice end product for a reaction – but first and foremost, we’re talking about our approach.”

Bayern, a six-time European champion, has reached the quarterfinals or better in 11 of its last 12 Champions League campaigns — the exception being a last-16 elimination by Liverpool five years ago.

Lazio, which sits seventh in Serie A, lost to Bayern in its only other round-of-16 appearance three years ago. But Maurizio Sarri's team, which finished second behind runaway Italian champion Napoli last season, has been in solid form lately, winning five of its last seven league matches.

Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano was sent off for a foul on Gustav Isaksen and Immobile sent goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way with the ensuing spot kick. The Italy forward has now scored Lazio’s last four goals in the competition, having reached the 200-goal mark in Serie A over the weekend.

“Playing matches like this gives you so many emotions and sharing it with these fans is what we dream of as children,” Immobile said.

Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Sociedad 2-0 in the night’s other match.

Having already seen its chances of extending a run of 11 straight Bundesliga titles placed in jeopardy after falling five points behind Leverkusen, Bayern now faces an uphill struggle in Europe, too.

“Our quality and our expectations as a club is that in moments like these, we stick together,” Müller said. “We will give everything we have in every competition until the very last second. ... We know we have it in us, even if we didn’t show it tonight. And who’s to say things won’t look a lot different in three weeks' time.”

Bayern controlled the game but couldn’t quite find the target early on.

Leroy Sané also missed a free kick narrowly wide after the half-hour mark.

After the break, Neuer did well to smother a close-range effort from Isaksen, who had only the goalkeeper to beat after receiving a ball over the top from Luis Alberto.

Then Kane missed again with a header.

Before kickoff, Bayern fans launched flares onto the field and filled the visitors’ section with fire and smoke.

After the final whistle, Lazio fans danced in the stands as techno music blasted through the stadium speakers.

It was only Lazio’s second ever win in the knockout phase, after beating Valencia in 2000.


AP soccer: