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Bayern Munich moves to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the Ninth Time

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times.co.uk

Bayern Munich advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the ninth time in the last ten seasons after defeating Lazio 2-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday to claim a 6-2 aggregate win.

Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Bayern from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute, his 39th goal of the season in all competitions, effectively ending Lazio’s dreams.

The German champions let up on the gas until replacement Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who had substituted Lewandowski, scored the second goal in the 73rd minute. Lazio’s Marco Parolo scored a late consolation goal.

Bayern replaced fellow German side Borussia Dortmund in the last eight, and Lazio’s departure ensures that no Italian club can play in the Champions League quarter-finals, after the exits of Juventus and Atalanta.

“Winning the game was critical to me,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said.

“Lazio defended well, but I believe the victory was justified. Our offense is very solid, and we play a high-risk game. We must continue to play like this and defend from the front to put our opponents under pressure.”

For Bayern, Alexander Nuebel took over in goal for the ailing Manuel Neuer, but with Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi unexpectedly keeping the club’s top scorer Ciro Immobile out, the stand-in keeper was barely resting.

About the fact that Lazio faced an almost daunting challenge – no team in European Cup history has advanced from a knockout tie after losing the first leg by three or more goals at home – Bayern appointed a solid starting lineup.

A sloppy tackle on Leon Goretzka by Vedat Muriqi earned Bayern a penalty, which Lewandowski scored for his fifth Champions League goal of the season, and the rest of the game was a breeze for the Bundesliga holders.

Lewandowski came within inches of scoring his 40th goal of the season in the second half before being replaced, and Choupo-Moting scored two minutes later to ensure Bayern went 19 games unbeaten in the Champions League.

Parolo did send Lazio something to smile for in the 82nd minute as he sent home Andreas Pereira’s free-kick, but Bayern never looked like they were heading anywhere.

“We did good, the boys were in the game, and then we conceded a penalty goal,” Inzaghi said.

“We leave with honor after going undefeated in our party for six games. We were sorry for the first leg, but I believe we performed well here.”

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