FC Bayern take 'huge step' in Rome
Hansi Flick had his biggest wish come true early thanks to his team. An hour ahead of the 56th birthday of the head coach, Bayern virtually exceeded Flick's hoped-for "good position" for the return game in Munich in three weeks with a 4-1 victory at Lazio. "Everybody lived up to expectations. We produced a very good team performance," declared Flick after the final whistle of the first leg of the round of 16 tie at the Stadio Olimpico, adding that he was "very happy. We want to get to the quarter-finals and are a huge step closer to that."
Bayern aggressive from the start
FC Bayern left no doubt about their ambitions in this competition on the night -- the visitors were on top from the start on foreign soil. "We managed to play in matchday mode on the pitch, were aggressive from the start and we were in control," said Leon Goretzka in describing the impressive performance from Bayern. In contrast to the last two matches against Armenia Bielefeld and Eintracht Frankfurt, where the team were "dozy" in the opening stages according to the 26-year-old, the record champions were fast out of the blocks in the Italian capital.
17th win in last 18 Champions League games
The wily Robert Lewandowskiopened the scoring on nine minutes following a misplaced pass by the Lazio keeper Pepe Reina. Jamal Musialadoubled the lead on 24 minutes -- and after the Bavarian double whammy either side of half-time with a strike from Leroy Sané(42') and an own goal by Francesco Acerbi (47'), Bayern were well on course for the 17th win in the last 18 Champions League matches. Nothing changed that although Joaquín Correa (49') did score a consolation goal. Flick's team maintained the pressure and kept the Laziali away from the FCB goal. "The intensity and aggressive approach were the key to winning the game," was the assessment of captain Manuel Neuer.
FCB face FC Köln on Saturday
Now it's a question of taking the performance in Rome into the next matches. The Bayern players have a rest and recovery session on Wednesday before starting the build-up to the Bundesliga clash against FC Köln at the weekend (Saturday, 15:30 CET). FC Bayern are also in an outstanding position here, going into the game looking to stay in top spot.
Facts on FC Bayern's win at Lazio in the first leg of the round of 16: