Sarri: ‘Courageous Lazio, Bayern Munich lose balance’ | OneFootball

Sarri: ‘Courageous Lazio, Bayern Munich lose balance’ | OneFootball

Icon: Football Italia

Football Italia

·4 March 2024

Sarri: ‘Courageous Lazio, Bayern Munich lose balance’

Article image:Sarri: ‘Courageous Lazio, Bayern Munich lose balance’

Maurizio Sarri wants Lazio ‘fired up’ for their Champions League Round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich. ‘Nothing is impossible and they tend to lose tactical balance.’

The first leg ended 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico thanks to a Ciro Immobile penalty and that gives them an advantage to take to the Allianz Stadium in Munich on Tuesday at 20.00 GMT.


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As the away goals rule no longer applies, any win by a one-goal margin from Bayern Munich would force extra time.

“I do not feel particularly emotional, as here we need to be courageous and determined,” said the coach in his press conference.

“We are aware of how difficult it is going to be, which ought to give us that spirit of sacrifice. Nothing is impossible in football, this must give us courage. We must be fired up and angry.

“Bayern Munich are a top quality team and they can score goals easily. Thinking we could just sit there and defend for 100 minutes is a bad idea, we’ve got to have the courage to push forward.

“I have absolutely no doubt they will run harder than us tomorrow, but it’s about efficiency too. There’s no point running an extra 2km if the opponent moves the ball quicker in the decisive opportunity. I hope they will leave spaces for us to enjoy, as usually Bayern lose their tactical balance.”

The Germans have been struggling recently under Thomas Tuchel and will be without suspended Dayot Upamecano, plus Daniel Peretz, Noussair Mazraoui, Sacha Boey, Kingsley Coman, Bouna Sarr and Tarek Buchmann.

Does Sarri therefore expect Tuchel to introduce some changes to shake things up?

“It’s possible, I think Davies will return from the start or Joshua Kimmich as a full-back. Whoever plays will be strong, including their young players. We must not be concerned about individuals, but the whole team.”

President Claudio Lotito has also made the journey along with the squad, just days after he threatened legal action against Serie A over refereeing decisions in the 1-0 defeat to Milan, where they had three players sent off.

“It was a great performance, we weren’t really struggling even down to 10 men, as we had two chances to win it with Ciro Immobile. It was a bitter pill to swallow.

“We hope that all the disappointment can be transformed into positive energy tomorrow. I want to thank the fans who are making the trip and I hope they can return home a little less furious than they did on Friday night.”

Before that, Lazio had also lost 2-1 to Fiorentina with a performance Sarri described as ‘flatlining’ from start to finish, where he warned they are not capable of handling multiple tournaments.

“I don’t think there’s a lot that isn’t working, but playing every three days, that takes a toll. Playing this match will give us an enormous boost in terms of experience. Being mentally competitive every 72 hours takes time to develop, we are not there yet.

“I had some positive sensations in recent weeks, I feel that something has changed within the squad. Perhaps it’s me illogically trying to convince myself it’s positive, but that is my sensation.”

Sarri confirms Matias Vecino and Mattia Zaccagni are not at 100 per cent after injuries and currently can only “play for chunks of matches.”

Italy is currently leading the race to get that extra slot in next season’s expanded Champions League and eliminating Bayern Munich would be a big boost for their prospects.

“Italian football went through a difficult period, but I don’t think Serie A is the worst league in the last couple of years. We are a step below the Premier League purely because of economic reasons, but not below the others.

“There are a couple of clubs at the top level in Spain, one in France, two in Germany, but as an average I think Italian teams are right up there.”

March 4, 2024

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