After being thumped 4-1 by holders Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg, Simone Inzaghi acknowledged the burden of the occasion on his Lazio players.
Competing in their first knockout-round tie in the Champions League in 21 years, Lazio scored three half-time goals against the German visitors in Rome.
His 72nd Champions League goal, putting him ahead of Real Madrid’s great Raul and behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (134) and Lionel Messi Messi, Bayern star Robert Lewandowski pounced on a poor Mateo Musacchio backpass and rounded Pepe Reina for an early opener (119).
15 minutes later, Jamal Musiala doubled the lead to become the second-youngest goal scorer in the knockout stages behind Bojan, before Leroy Sane shot at number three at the end of an assault that resulted from the loss of possession by Lazio’s Patric.
The bad day for Serie A outfit Lazio got even worse 62 seconds after the half-time interval when, under pressure from Alphonso Davies, Francesco Acerbi turned Sane’s cross into his net.
Joaquin Correa pulled one back with a fine solo effort, but Lazio head coach Inzaghi was left to rue some horror defending after having seen his side ship four or more goals in a home European match for only the third time in their history.
“Unfortunately, we’d said this week with the lads that we should play our game,” he told Sky Sport Italia. We felt so much of a chance. We were nervous against the world champions, but for them, we practically scored three of the four goals.
It’s natural to be frustrated in the locker room, but it’s still an accomplishment for us to be here. You need to be at 100 percent in games at this stage, to do all right and hope the opponents are not at their peak.
If we look at it, we’re talking about the holders of the Club World Cup and we’ve scored three goals out of four for them. At this stage, you can’t make those mistakes.’
However, Inzaghi thought that if Lazio had been given a penalty while trailing 1-0 for a challenge on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic inside the box, the game may have panned out differently.