Hansi Flick wants no sloppy start to Bayern Munich's Champions League clash with Lazio

Munich coach Hansi Flick (r-l) and Munich's Robert Lewandowski walk off the pitch after the match.

Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick said his team cannot afford for a repeat of recent sloppy starts to games, as they look to continue their reign as champions of Europe.

The German giants face Italian side Lazio on Tuesday in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 clash in Rome.

Bayern have won a remarkable six titles in the past nine months but have stumbled in their last two Bundesliga matches when they followed up a 3-3 draw against struggling Arminia Bielefeld, with a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

The Bavarians fell two goals behind in both games before battling back into the contest.

"We know what has happened in the past days," Flick said. "Against Lazio, I want us to be there as a team from the start.

"We have an idea of how we want to play and we have to do that from the beginning."

Flick, who is missing several key players to injury or positive Covid-19 results including Corentin Tolisso and Thomas Muller, needs some good news after seeing a seven-point lead in the Bundesliga cut to two in less than a week.

"I will not be using any excuses. The first half against Bielefeld and against Frankfurt were not good. But we can be satisfied with the second half," Flick said.

"When the Champions League starts we have to be in top form. But looking at the past weeks there has been a lot of matches, a lot of strain on the team and some players missing."

Bayern won the Club World Cup earlier this month before returning from Qatar for two league games in six games and then the trip to Italy this week.

Over the weekend, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge took a swipe at the team's poor form. "We're too inconsistent," he told broadcaster ZDF. "We sometimes only put in the effort over the last few metres. That [dropping five points] is unusual for Bayern and not what we had in mind."

Bayern are struggling to cope with their condensed fixture list, having played 12 matches already in 2021, with Rummenigge admitting that "the whole season is exhausting".

Over in Serie A, Lazio edged to a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday, a result that saw them finish the weekend fifth in the table,10 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Lazio's six-match winning streak ended last weekend with a 3-1 defeat at Inter, but Luis Alberto's strike after 24 minutes ensured Simone Inzaghi's side were tasting victory again in Rome.

"It was not easy to win this match a few days before the Champions League,” said Inzaghi, who marked his 100th victory in Serie A as a coach.

"Now we have two objectives, to get past this round in the Champions League and hold our place in Europe, knowing that we’re up against battleships.”

Inzaghi did admit that six-time European Cup winners Bayern “were the only club in the draw we didn’t want”.

"It will be very difficult, we know," he said. "They are the champions and favourites since only a few months ago they won, but we’re not afraid. They have some problems. We have to enjoy the challenge.”


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