Bayern ahead of promotion, Chelsea have an advantage against Atletico
For FC Bayern, the ticket for the quarter-finals of the Football Champions League is ready. After the 4: 1 in Rome, the second leg against Lazio should only be mandatory for the defending champions on Wednesday evening (9 p.m. / live Sky). Bayern have been unbeaten in the “premier class” for two years. The Bayern coach Hansi Flick, who is supposedly in demand as national coach, had to speak more about the national team cause than about the sporting task before the game.
Chelsea also start the second leg against Atletico with a lead. Before the game at home Stamford Bridge, the “Blues” are 1-0 ahead. A peat festival cannot be expected. In the twelve games under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea did not concede ten goals, but only posted 13 goals. The Madrilenians remembered the previous year when they won the last 16 in Liverpool. Chelsea were last in the quarter-finals of the “premier class” seven years ago.
Flick appeared in front of the press the day before the game against the Serie A seventh. Again, some questions revolved around the successor to the outgoing national coach Joachim Löw. When asked about his future and the unrest it had brought into the team, the 56-year-old waved it off. “When I started, there was a lot more unrest here. Every day it was about a possible different head coach. Nevertheless, we managed to focus on the games,” emphasized Flick.
There has been speculation whether goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has a cold, will be given a break on Wednesday. David Alaba missed the 3-1 of the Bundesliga leaders in Bremen due to muscular problems, but could be back against Lazio. Flick also spoke about the problem of being relegated to the upcoming internationals. Nothing has been decided yet.
“We want the players to be back in training and play when they come back. David Alaba’s first game is in Scotland and he could not be there,” said Flick. Should team players have to be in quarantine after a stay abroad – as it should be in the case of Alaba when traveling to Glasgow – the club is allowed not to release its professionals. “The countdown has started for us, we need all the players,” said Flick. Of course you want to win against Lazio. “We have a good series and we want to continue that.”
Lazio highlighted the difficulty of the task before the second leg. “We will go to Munich to do our best. Against the club world champion and European champion we will need a willingness to run, aggressiveness and determination,” said coach Simone Inzaghi. Inzahgi recalled that his team had played well away three times in the Champions League this season. There was a 1-1 draw in Bruges, St. Petersburg and Dortmund. That wouldn’t be enough in Munich.
Chelsea has matured into a compact unit under Tuchel. The team is unbeaten in twelve games under the German. After the 0-0 win against Leeds at the weekend, Tuchel complained about lost opportunities. He last used compatriot Kai Havertz as the “false nine” in the center of the storm. The 21-year-old is currently in better shape after his autumn was rather mixed due to a corona infection in November.
“It wasn’t easy for me, but there are no excuses. I have to keep working on myself, and hopefully the big turnaround will come then,” said Havertz, for whom Chelsea had transferred at least 80 million euros to Leverkusen. In the Premier League he has only scored one goal in 21 appearances this season.
Atletico also failed to score at Getafe at the weekend. Luis Suarez and Co. traveled to the island with the memory of the hussar piece from the previous year. Match winner in the 3: 2 nV against Liverpool was Marcos Llorente. The offensive man now announced confidently: “The team is mentally ready for the task that is waiting. We trust in us.”