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Bayern Munich Suffers 1-0 Defeat to Lazio in Champions League

Bayern Munich once again fell short of expectations four days after their Bundesliga debacle, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Lazio in the inaugural match of the Champions League’s round of 16 this Wednesday.

The pendulum swung unfavorably for Bayern when Lazio’s skipper, Ciro Immobile, seized the moment to convert a pivotal penalty kick, exploiting Bayern’s vulnerability as they found themselves a man down midway through the latter half, following a relentless barrage of missed opportunities by the German outfit. 

The concatenation of events, including the recent 3-0 setback against Bayer Leverkusen, mounts pressure not only on Bayern but also on the helm of their coach, Thomas Tuchel, as they brace themselves for the return leg on March 5th. 

Historically, Bayern, a colossus with six European titles under their belt, has showcased a formidable presence in the Champions League, advancing to the quarterfinals or beyond in 11 of their last 12 campaigns, with a solitary blip being their elimination in the last-16 stage by Liverpool half a decade ago. 

Conversely, Lazio, perched in seventh place in Serie A, had previously tasted defeat at the hands of Bayern in their sole other round-of-16 encounter three years prior. 

The turning point in the recent encounter arrived with Bayern’s defender, Dayot Upamecano, receiving his marching orders for a challenge on Gustav Isaksen, paving the way for Immobile to outwit goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from the penalty spot. 

Immobile, the talismanic forward for Lazio, has emerged as the beacon of hope, single-handedly notching Lazio’s last four goals in the competition, a feat accentuated by his recent milestone of reaching the 200-goal mark in Serie A over the weekend.

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