Harry Kane seeks Bayern Munich spark after 'slapstick' defeat to Lazio in Champions League

German giants fall to second defeat in five days in a performance criticised by manager Thomas Tuchel

Harry Kane drew another blank as Bayern Munich fell to a 1-0 defeat to Lazio in the Champions League. AFP
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Harry Kane has admitted Bayern Munich are going through a difficult spell and urged his teammates to fight after a 1-0 defeat at Lazio in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night.

After a comprehensive 3-0 loss at Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday that saw the champions fall five points off the pace in the title race, Bayern failed to bounce back in Rome, Ciro Immobile's second-half penalty proving the difference in the first leg.

It was another toothless display by the Bavarians in which the visitors didn't have a single shot on target, ultimately increasing the pressure on manager Thomas Tuchel.

"We're in a difficult spell. We have to fight. We have to turn it around. We have big games and big things to fight for," Kane told TNT Sports.

"We're not out of it, we will never give up. We just need to turn it around. One game or spark can turn it around."

Tuchel was less than complimentary about his side's performance and demanded significant improvements.

"In the first half, we had to take the lead. We had three clear chances. We have to do these things," Tuchel said, adding that the second half was "characterised by uncertainty again. It was a bit slapstick."

Bayern were hamstrung by the dismissal of Dayot Upamecano, who was shown a red card for crashing into Gustav Isaksen in the penalty area. Immobile stepped up to score the resulting spot-kick.

"We made a lot of individual mistakes and we conceded a penalty and red card from out of absolutely nothing," Tuchel said. "With the performance, we did everything to lose this game, which was completely in our hands."

Immobile's strike came days after he netted his 200th Serie A goal and allowed a raucous Lazio home crowd to dream of a first quarter-final in Europe's top competition in 24 years.

"We prepared for this match so that we could give Bayern a game. Even if we'd only had a 10 per cent chance the team would have given everything on the pitch," Immobile told Amazon Prime Video.

"We wanted to give our supporters a good night and I think we've done that."

Bayern were on the front foot for most of the opening period, which was light on clearcut chances and featured only one shot on target.

That effort was a weak Alessio Romagnoli header for the hosts, who were lucky to go into the break level as Jamal Musiala shot just over the bar after a slick passing move on the edge of the Lazio area.

Kane lashed over from close range early on while in the 32nd minute Leroy Sane watched his powerful shot fly just wide after a neat free-kick routine.

But right after the break Bayern had Manuel Neuer to thank after he rushed out to stop Gustav Isaksen for giving Lazio the lead after being brilliantly put through by Luis Alberto.

And after a long spell of ineffective Bayern possession, Immobile punished the away side with his 20th goal of the season, won by Isaksen when he was upended by Upamecano.

Bayern were left a goal and man down and from that point had an even harder time threatening the well-organised home defence, allowing Lazio to hold out for a famous win.

PSG in control against Sociedad

Second-half goals from Kylian Mbappe and Bradley Barcola secured Paris Saint-Germain a hard-fought 2-0 win over visitors Real Sociedad in their first leg of the last-16 Champions League.

The Basque club, who arrived at the Parc des Princes unbeaten in this season's competition after topping Group D, were arguably the better side until Mbappe fired home a volley after he pounced onto Marquinhos' corner to give PSG the lead in the 58th minute.

PSG took control of the game and in the 70th minute, Barcola extended their lead as he nudged the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper Alex Remiro.

"We struggled a lot in the first half. We spoke to each other at half time and the coach [Luis Enrique] pulled our strings. He was really upset," PSG captain Marquinhos told Canal Plus.

"Our attitude was much better in the second half. He [Luis Enrique] always tells us the truth, and that's very important for the team.

"He gave us some advice ... and that worked well in the second half. The first part of our objective has been achieved. It's important to win at home."

PSG were lucky to go into the break with the match scoreless as Real Sociedad’s captain Mikel Merino unleashed a thunderous strike that exploded off the crossbar just before half time.

A resilient Mbappe, who missed his club's previous match due to an ankle injury, took advantage of Sociedad being temporarily down to 10 men after defender Hamari Traore was on the sidelines receiving medical treatment.

Barcola extended PSG’s lead in the 70th minute with a fine individual goal as he burst through from the halfway line to net a tidy finish.

PSG had more chances to score but the visitors held on and will have a tough task to fight back from two goals down in the return leg in Spain on March 5.

Updated: February 15, 2024, 4:59 AM