Bayern look hopeless in Champions League but Thomas Muller remains calm: ‘They have to come to Munich’

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After a 1-0 loss to Lazio in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, a lot needs to change for Bayern Munich heading back to Germany for the second leg. Bayern lacked cohesion at the Stadio Olimpico and were susceptible to Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio gameplan with things going from bad to worse when center back Dayot Upamecano was dismissed in the 67th minute of the match. Ciro Immobile sank the ensuing penalty to give Lazio the victory.

Bayern seemed helpless and lacked cohesion taking 17 shots with none finding the target as star striker Harry Kane registered his third performance in the last five games without putting a shot on frame. And yet, they’ll return to Allianz Arena only needing a goal to force penalties and two goals to advance to the last eight teams remaining in the competition. For as poor as this match against Lazio was — and it was very poor — this is Bayern’s tie to lose for a few reasons.

It begins with confidence which Thomas Muller touched on following the match.

“We missed our chances in the first half. I think we had a good start to the game, we had a good approach in the game also, the coach had a good plan for the game but it’s on us players to score the goals when we create the chances,” he said. 

“The first half was good but we have to be honest, the second half we gave it away. We made mistakes, horrible mistakes at this level. The penalty was a little unlucky but you also have to say Ciro Immobile forced two, three, four guys to fight with him without winning the ball and in the end with the red card and maybe 30 minutes with one man down, it’s an okay result. I’m long enough in this business, 1-0 is not good, we wanted more, but they have to come to Munich and we will see what will happen but with one man down with the 1-0, I’m fine.”

Muller is right to have that confidence returning home to Munich as well. In league play and Champions League, Bayern have an 11-2-1 record at home scoring 43 goals and allowing 11. When they leave the friendly confines of Germany, they have a 10-1-3 record, scoring 28 goals and allowing 18. This raises concerns for later rounds in the Champions League but facing Lazio, who have only won six of their 15 road matches in Serie A and Champions League play, a team like Bayern should be confident.

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Eventually, Bayern will need to perform better in road matches if they are to win UCL for the first time since 2020 but where things are currently, all Thomas Tuchel needs to do is steer his side to the next round of the tournament and use that to build confidence for advancing further while trying to catch Bayer Leverkusen atop the Bundesliga. Looking any further down the road will only lead to Bayen tripping over their feet more like Wednesday’s loss as pressure on Tuchel grows.



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