Lewandowski Hits Goal Landmark As Bayern Munich Hammer Lazio in Rome

Bayern
Soccer Football – Champions League – Round of 16 First Leg – Lazio v Bayern Munich – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – February 23, 2021 Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski scores their first goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

ROME — Robert Lewandowski became the Champions League’s third top scorer of all time as holders Bayern Munich put one foot in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 thrashing of Lazio in their last-16 first leg in Rome on Tuesday. 

The Polish striker pounced on a poorly judged back pass after nine minutes to steer in his 72nd goal in the competition.

In doing so, he surpassed former Real Madrid striker Raul in the competition scoring charts to reach a total only bettered by Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, with 134 goals, and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, with 119. 

Bayern’s 17-year-old midfielder Jamal Musiala doubled their advantage with a well-taken strike that made him the youngest English player to score in the competition. 

Soccer Football – Champions League – Round of 16 First Leg – Lazio v Bayern Munich – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – February 23, 2021 Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala in action with Lazio’s Lucas Leiva REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Leroy Sane tapped in a third before the break and a Francesco Acerbi own goal stretched the visitors’ advantage early in the second half, but Joaquin Correa soon pulled one back for Lazio, whose unbeaten run in the competition came crashing to an end. 

It was an 18th consecutive match without defeat for Bayern in the Champions League, 17 of which have been victories, leaving the German champions in a dominant position ahead of the second leg in Munich on March 17. 

Bayern came into the game with a point to prove after earning one point from two league games since winning the Club World Cup earlier this month. 

They soon demonstrated their pedigree against a Lazio side competing in its first Champions League knockout match since 1999. 

Soccer Football – Champions League – Round of 16 First Leg – Lazio v Bayern Munich – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – February 23, 2021 Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane scores their third goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Lewandowski anticipated a loose pass from Mateo Musacchio and rounded Pepe Reina to tap in, but Lazio were furious when penalty claims were waved away after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was felled in the box. 

England Under-21 international Musiala, who is also eligible to play for Germany, fired into the bottom corner after 24 minutes.

Bayern then put the contest beyond doubt when Sane tapped in from a Reina parry and Acerbi diverted a cross into his own net either side of the break.

Lazio produced chances of their own, finishing the game with 14 attempts to Bayern’s 13, but Correa’s weaving run and finish was their only successful effort.

Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Toby Davis; Reuters

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