Immobile gives Lazio shock advantage over Bayern Munich

Last 16 1st leg

SS Lazio 1-0 Bayern Munich

Ciro Immobile’s penalty gave Lazio a shock win over Bayern Munich in their Champions League last-16 first leg.

Immobile scored from the spot midway through the second half after Dayot Upamecano was sent off for a foul on Gustav Isaksen.

Bayern, despite a star-studded attack featuring Harry Kane, were unable to respond in an underwhelming display.

It was a second defeat in five days for Bayern, increasing the pressure on manager Thomas Tuchel.

On Saturday, they lost 3-0 at title rivals Bayer Leverkusen and are five points adrift in the Bundesliga title race.

Chances were few in a game low on quality, with Bayern top scorer Kane blazing over their best first-half opportunity early on before Manuel Neuer made a spreading stop to deny Isaksen early in the second period.

The game finally sparked into life in the 67th minute, as Upamecano caught Isaksen late in the box with a studs-up challenge following a Lazio counter-attack.

Upamecano was dismissed before Lazio captain and club legend Immobile, who turns 34 next Tuesday, sent Neuer the wrong way – and the packed Stadio Olimpico crowd into ecstasy.

Lazio, making just their third appearance in the Champions League last 16, now take an advantage into the second leg in Munich on 5 March as they aim to eliminate the six-time winners.

Immobile converts from the spot.

Having suffered a huge blow to their hopes of a 12th successive Bundesliga title on Saturday with defeat to leaders Leverkusen, Bayern would have aimed for an immediate response here.

Bayern captain Neuer said pre-match that his team were not over that setback, and so it appeared in this lacklustre performance which increases the previously unthinkable possibility of Bayern ending the season without a trophy – a situation which would surely be fatal to Tuchel’s job.

They lacked the guile to break down a very well organised Lazio side and, on the rare occasions Bayern got through the packed ranks of light blue shirts, they were wasteful, taking 17 shots without one on target.

Kane missed a golden chance after only seven minutes, sweeping over the top from eight yards following Thomas Muller’s cutback, while Jamal Musiala also shot high shortly before half-time.

After the break Kane headed over from a good position after mistiming his jump, before clipping the wall with a late free-kick.

The former Tottenham striker had been involved in more Champions League goals than any other player in the group stage as he continues a quest for a first major trophy in his career, but had few chances to add to that tally in Italy.

Ultimately Bayern folded in a feverish Rome atmosphere, with Lazio supporters celebrating their club’s first Champions League knockout match in front of a crowd since 2000.

The Italians are seventh in Serie A, closer in points to the relegation zone than the top of the league, but stuck to their gameplan and are firmly in the hunt for a first Champions League quarter-final in 24 years.

They could have inflicted more misery on Tuchel and Bayern in the later stages, as Felipe Anderson delayed when he should have shot first time before Neuer made a smart stop to deny Pedro.

Nevertheless, Bayern must improve in order to progress from the round of 16 for the 12th time in their past 13 attempts.

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