Sarri: ‘Lazio Suffer & Die Defensively Against Bayern’

Maurizio Sarri underlined why he wants his Lazio players to feel fury as they look to do the impossible against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Biancocelesti surprised everyone by edging out a possibly key 1-0 win over the Bavarian giants in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie, giving them a slim advantage to defend as they gear up for the return clash in Germany this evening.

In the meantime, Lazio have failed to generate any real form in Serie A, forcing them to dig deep as they look to complete the upset and progress to the Champions League quarter-finals. Defeat for Bayern could spell disaster for under-pressure coach Thomas Tuchel.

Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first discussed his emotions heading into the match with Bayern.

I don’t have great emotions. We need to arrive here courageous and determined. The match will be very tough, we are aware of this. 

This must give us a spirit of sacrifice and the ability to suffer. In football everything is possible. We must not be emotional, but p*ssed off.

He reflected on the team’s recent defeats to Fiorentina and Milan.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong, but we play a lot. Against Bologna we paid for the second half, in Florence we arrived exhausted. Matches like Bayern give us experience. To always be competitive we need to follow a path, but we’re still not doing that.

In the last period I have had some positive feelings, we have the same defects, but I continue to see positive things. I have the feeling that something has changed in the group.

The Lazio coach touched on how his team will approach the match.

The simplest path to qualification doesn’t exist. They have immeasurable quality and like all teams with players of great quality they have ease in finding goals. We have to suffer and die in the defensive phase, but also have the courage to score goals.

Sarri discussed any possible changes at Bayern.

Kimmich as a full-back and Davies returning as a starter are changes that can be made. The Germans can play eight roles with great quality. 

Whoever plays, they are a team of great quality, that’s clear. They also have young players of great quality, so we don’t worry about individuals.

He spoke about the importance of a positive performance.

In terms of physical numbers, I’m calm, even if they’re not everything. We can run more than our opponents, but if they go 36 kilometres per hour in a decisive situation, they’ll win. 

Let’s hope they leave us some space, given that they attack with many players. They can hurt at any time, but they leave some space. We have to be good at getting out of the first line of aggression.

The Biancocelesti coach was asked what this game means for Italian football as a whole.

Italian football has been through a difficult period, but if I look at the matches of other leagues it doesn’t seem to me that Serie A is worse. We are one step below the Premier League, but it doesn’t seem to me that we’re worse compared to the others.

It’s clear that there are leagues that offer high level football, but I don’t think the medium level has anything to envy. Then it’s normal for there to be a difference in level between us and Bayern.

Finally, Sarri provided an update on his Lazio squad and what reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League would mean.

We have players who come from a period of inactivity, their recovery wasn’t at an excellent level. Vecino and Zaccagni are now two match-fit players, waiting to be able to train them thoroughly, even if today doing serious training is impossible, so how to see about the recovery. 

On the path to the Champions League, we’ll think about the hour and a half to play against them, if it goes badly I’ll tell you how p*ssed off I am, if it goes well how satisfied I am.

Tags Bayern Bayern Munich Bayern Munich vs Lazio Biancocelesti Champions League Italy Lazio Lazio vs Bayern Munich Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Serie A UCL