Bayern breeze past Lazio into last eight

Holders Bayern Munich cruised through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons after beating Lazio 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday to secure a 6-2 aggregate victory.

Leading 4-1 from the first leg in Rome, Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Bayern from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute, his 39th goal of the season in all competitions, to virtually end Lazio’s hopes.

The German champions took their foot off the gas before substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, having replaced Lewandowski, added the second goal in the 73rd minute. Marco Parolo headed a late consolation for Lazio.

Bayern joined fellow German side Borussia Dortmund in the last eight and Lazio’s exit means no Italian team will compete in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Juventus and Atalanta having also exited at the last-16 stage.

Joaquin Correa duels with David Alaba during Wednesday's second leg
Image:
Joaquin Correa duels with David Alaba during Wednesday’s second leg

Alexander Nuebel replaced the ill Manuel Neuer in goal for Bayern, but with Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi surprisingly leaving the club’s top scorer Ciro Immobile out, the stand-in keeper was rarely rested.

Although Lazio were facing a near-impossible task – no side in European Cup history has progressed from a knockout tie after losing the first leg by three or more goals at home – Bayern named a strong starting side.

A clumsy challenge from Vedat Muriqi on Leon Goretzka gifted Bayern the penalty which Lewandowski converted, his fifth Champions League goal of the season, and the rest of the match was a cruise for the Bundesliga leaders.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting celebrates stretching Bayern's lead on the night
Image:
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting celebrates stretching Bayern’s lead on the night

Lewandowski went within inches of his 40th of the season in the second half before being withdrawn and Choupo-Moting found the net two minutes after coming on, ensuring Bayern made it 19 games unbeaten in the Champions League.

Parolo did give Lazio something to take back to Italy in the 82nd minute when he headed home from Andreas Pereira’s free-kick, but Bayern never looked in any danger of making a surprise exit.

Champions League key dates

Quarter-finals first legs: April 6/7

Quarter-finals second legs: April 13/14

Semi-finals first legs: April 27/28

Semi-finals second legs: May 4/5

Final: May 29 (Atatürk Olympic Stadium)

Let’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.