MUNICH: Lazio have made things difficult for themselves to qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals but coach Simone Inzaghi said on Tuesday the Italian club’s goal is to become regulars in the competition after missing out in recent years.
Lazio, who last participated in the Champions League in 2007-08, lost the first leg of their last-16 tie 4-1 to defending champions and treble winners Bayern Munich last month.
Their qualification for Europe’s elite competition next season is in doubt with the Italian side seventh in Serie A with a game in hand, six points behind fourth-placed Atalanta.
“We hadn’t entered the Champions League for more than 10 years, we missed the second round (last-16) for 20 years. We have to hit it more consistently,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“But we know that it’s not easy and that there are five battleships ahead of us in addition to Atalanta who are doing very well. We have to fully enjoy an evening like tomorrow night.
“I hope it will happen again soon because we are very ambitious. We’ve achieved our goal, to return to the second round. Unfortunately, with the first leg we have compromised passage to the next round.”
However, Inzaghi said he hoped to count on their unbeaten away record in the competition this season when they take on Bayern, who last lost a game in Europe two years ago.
“We know how much we have worked in recent years to play such matches. We will go to play the game in the best possible way,” Inzaghi added.
“Before Bayern we had not yet lost in the Champions League in the group stage… we have had three away matches with three draws against Bruges, (Zenit) St Petersburg and (Borussia) Dortmund.
“They (Bayern) are a very strong team, they deserved all the trophies… We will play with determination and desire.” – Reuters