Bayern ease into UEFA Champions League's quarterfinals

2021-03-18 12:06:30

Benjamin Pavard (L) of Bayern Munich vies with Joaquin Correa of Lazio during a UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Bayern Munich and Lazio in Munich, Germany, March 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua] BERLIN - Bayern Munich comfortably cruised into the Champions League quarterfinals after beating Lazio 2-1 (6-2 on aggregate) in the last 16 second leg on Wednesday. Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were enough for Bayern, who took the reins from the starting whistle on home soil, despite Lazio's heavy 4-1 defeat in the first leg. The visitors from Italy needed four goals but it was Bayern who almost broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the game when Leroy Sane missed the target just wide. Sane remained a factor in Bayern's game as the German international kept Lazio's defense busy on the right wing. However, it was Lewandowski who got his name on the scoresheet and opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Leon Goretzka was felled by Vedat Muriqi inside the box in the 33rd minute. After the restart, Bayern retracted with the advantage, yet the hosts were still able to do damage as Lewandowski's long-range effort rattled the woodwork in the 67th minute. Lazio wasn't able to cope with Bayern's pressure as David Alaba's perfectly timed through ball from the midfield found substitute Choupo-Moting, who finished the job against onrushing goalkeeper Pepe Reina with 73 minutes played. The deal was sealed but Lazio suddenly sparked to life and scored a consolation goal out of the blue in the 82nd minute when Andreas Pereira's free-kick to the far post allowed substitute Marco Parolo to halve the deficit by heading from very close range. The visitors gained momentum, but Bayern's defense stood firm to reach a record 19 quarterfinal in Europe's elite competition. "It was important for us to win the game today. Lazio defended very well in the first half while we lacked in rhythm. The late goal against us is a bit of a downer though," said Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.