Initial reactions and observations
- Lazio seemed very sharp up front, especially in the second half. They always looked dangerous on the counter, but credit to Bayern’s defense on keeping it tidy at the back for most of the game.
- Bayern’s attack went on the afterburner later into the second half, giving Lazio more space. Kimmich was everywhere, and he was very good, making passes with great precision, and giving the Lazio defenders a lot to worry about with his vertical balls.
- Suele put in a performance worthy of giving him serious consideration for a permanent RB role. He was outstanding, with fantastic dribbling and solid defending.
- Lazzari (Lazio’s RWB) was super fast. He gave Alphonso Davies a tough time, beating him at least 2/3rds of the time, something you don’t see happen very often.
- This was a lineup and a plan executed to perfection. Musiala was the right choice for the AM role, Kimmetzka ruled the midfield and the defense and attack both looked great.
- Leroy Sane was phenomenal for the first 60 minutes today, and is cementing himself as a starter. He was directly involved in 2 goals, and put in a lung-busting effort. It’s gonna be tough for Gnabry to break into the starting lineup with both Sane and Coman in such form.
90+4’ — FT.
88’ — Sarr and Choupo Moting come in for Sane and Musiala respectively.
87’ — Bayern try to close out the game with some good defending. Lucas has been super solid since coming on, and he’s done well to keep Lazari quiet on the flank.
72’ — Bayern’s pressing remain intense, while Lazio are resorting to dirty fouls to try and pry the ball away from the Bayern players.
63’ — Lazio trying to generate chance after chance, especially aiming to strike quickly on the counter. Immobile, Luis Alberto and Correa are showing some great interplay.
52’ — Lazio looking alive now, with another great move forward seeing Correa curling the ball viciously towards goal. Neuer stretches with a great dive and makes a crucial save.
49’ — Lazio score! Within a minute of Bayern’s goal, Lazio go forward on a quick counter. Correa gets at the end of the move, does amazingly well to dribble through the defense and slots the ball past Neuer. 4-1!
48’ — OWN GOAL Lazio! Coman gets a great through ball to Sane, who sprints down the flank with incredible speed. With some nifty dribbling, he gets past his man and sends it across for Davies, but it goes into the back of the net off Acerbi. 4-0!
46’ — And the second half kicks off!
HT reactions and observations:
- Bayern simply dominated the first 45 minutes. The players were everywhere, they attacked relentlessly, and they never went down, even when constantly faced with some rough challenges from Lazio.
- Niklas Suele was outstanding at RB. Super solid defensively and brilliant going forward. His dribbles, tricks and flicks were a delight to watch, and it really does feel like Pavard might not get to see regular minutes if he goes on like this.
- The Bayern defense as a whole was super solid.
- Musiala was very sharp, and should take the 10 spot as long as Mueller is out. He has great vision, chipped in with some great dribbles and fluid passing and capped it all off with a superb finish.
- Sane and Coman both put in tremendous shifts. Very active going forward, and always tracking back to help with defensive duties. This is Flicki-flaka at its best.
Halftime — Bayern 3-0 Lazio.
42’ — GOAL! Coman breaks down on the left with pace and purpose, takes the ball past his man wit trickery and takes a shot. Reina saves the shot, but the rebound falls to Sane, who just has to tap in the ball. 3-0!
39’ — Lazio starting to look dangerous on the counter, but Bayern are able to snuff out most of their attacks thus far.
30’ — Bayern absolutely bossing possession at the moment. Niklas Suele spilling a lot of sauce around with some great dribbles forward. He seems at home at RB.
24’ — GOAL! Musiala with a great finish! A move started by Davies sees Goretzka heavily involved. The ball finds Musiala, who takes the ball aside with a great first touch and slots it in the back of the net with a composed finish. 2-0!
16’ — Lazio attacking with a lot more intent, throwing bodies forward to try and press Bayern and somehow get the equalizer.
9’ — GOAL! Musacchio makes an error with a horrendous pass back to Reina, who fails to reach the ball in time. Lewandowski pounces on the ball, dribbles past the goalkeeper and slots it in coolly. 1-0!
5’ — Both sides looking very sharp. Bayern are slowly asserting themselves.
1’ — The game is underway at the Stadio Olimpico!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Musiala and Sule actually start! That’s a surprise.
⭐ Unsere XI für #LAZFCB ⭐#packmas #FCBayern #UCL pic.twitter.com/4wKuhTxDqj— FC Bayern (@FCBayern) February 23, 2021
After winning the treble last year, Bayern Munich have been faced with crisis after crisis. So far, Hansi Flick has managed to navigated stormy seas with his reputation intact. But this is no ordinary storm — it’s a hurricane. With only seventeen first-teamers making the trip to Rome for a Champions League game, how will the team even handle Lazio?
Well we already covered that in our prediction post, which you should definitely check out. Basically, Bayern have to start Jamal Musiala, and hope Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich can make up for the loss of creativity that Thomas Muller brings to the table. Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka is set to start his first game since recovering from covid, and his first task is to go up against the incredible Sergei Milinkovic-Savic. At the same time, Bayern’s backline has to deal with the threat of Ciro Immobile, who was a meme in Germany but has set Serie A alight. All said, it’s going to take some doing.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Stadio Olympico, Rome, Italy
Time: 9:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
TV/streaming: CBS All Access, Find Your Country
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