Bayern Munich falter against Lazio in Champions League

Bayern Munich continued their poor run of form on Wednesday as they suffered 1-0 defeat against Lazio in the Champions League.
Bayern Munich struggled to create chances against Lazio.
Bayern Munich struggled to create chances against Lazio. / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/GettyImages

As February has finally arrived, the UEFA Champions League resumes play once again. After the Group Stage concluded in December, Bayern Munich were drawn against Lazio in the Round of 16. Courtesy of an unbeaten run in the group stage, the German side were expected to continue their good form in the Champions League.

Lately, Bayern's performances have been rather lackluster, with their most recent matchup finishing as an embarrassing 3-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. For Bayern fans and players alike, there would have been no better time to turn things around than in the first leg of the UCL round of 16.

Unfortunately, the sluggishness in Bayern's performance was visible in Italy on Wednesday. They return to Allianz Arena with much work to do in the second leg as Lazio clinched a 1-0 victory in the first leg.

The sad fact is that Bayern made it through this entire match without getting a single shot on target. The Bavarians attempted 17 shots, but could not challenge keeper Ivan Provedel with any of them. The team showed no signs of recovery from their big defeat in Leverkusen.

Early in the first half, Bayern struggled to get rhythm in their play. The second minute saw Joshua Kimmich unleash a rocket of a shot after a great cross from Leroy Sane, but the shot was wide of the target. Little did the Germans know that this would truthfully be their best chance in the first half. The remaining 45 minutes were filled with missed chances and squandered opportunities.

Coming back from the halftime break, Bayern seemed to have more energy than the host side but could still not create notable chances in the final third. Bayern had more control and possession but their play in the final third was not slick.

The momentum shifted completely when Lazio were awarded a penalty in the 69th minute. Ciro Immobile played the ball across the box to find Gustav Isaksen. Though the ball was deflected off target, Dayot Upamecano's rash challenge drew both the penalty and a red card. Immobile stepped up and slotted the ball past Manuel Neuer.

Bayern finished the game outshooting Lazio 17 to 11, dominating in possession 60% to 40%, but did not have the clinical touch to finish the game with a goal. Die Roten will have to be much better in three weeks when these two sides meet in the second leg at Allianz Arena. (Stats courtesy: Fotmob)