04.03.2024 19:22 h

'No time to lose', says Tuchel

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel said his side cannot afford to be patient in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Lazio as they attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home.

In February, Bayern announced Tuchel would leave the club at the end of the season, less than a year after replacing the sacked Julian Nagelsmann.

Having won the past 11 Bundesliga titles in a row, Tuchel's side are now 10 points behind Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen with 10 games to play.

With Bayern's hopes in the Bundesliga fast disappearing, bringing the Champions League trophy to Munich may be the club's last chance to avoid a first trophyless season since 2012.

"The time is on Lazio's side," Tuchel told reporters on Monday.

"We've got no time to lose.

"We can't be patient if it's just about keeping ball possession. We have just 90 minutes.

"We can't take time to wait for our first attack or pass to the other side instead of taking an opportunity.

"We need to play with a cool head but we need to play to score goals."

Despite a promise from the club's hierarchy Tuchel would see out the season, German media are claiming the notoriously prickly coach could be out of a job as soon as Tuesday depending on the side's performance.

Tuchel won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, a year after he took Paris Saint-Germain to the 2020 final, which they lost to Bayern.

"Talking about titles does not bring you titles -- you need to show evidence every day," the 50-year-old said.

"We need to show our unity at training today and a good game minute by minute tomorrow. Everything else will just hinder us."

Calling himself a "bad loser", Tuchel said "in the last weeks it has been difficult to see the positive side of the job".

"Things are not 'usual', but it's football. It's my big love, my big passion."

Tuchel lauded star striker Harry Kane, who has shone despite Bayern's struggles, with 31 goals in 32 games in all competitions since arriving from Tottenham in the summer.

"There's not one percent doubt about what he does and how he behaves. Harry has an impact for every team he plays for and on every player.

"He will perform tomorrow. We can rely on him 100 percent."

Six-time champions Bayern have played in Europe's top competition 40 times, only failing to reach the quarter-finals on six occasions.

"We are in the shit. We all know it - but we're in this phase together and we need to get out of it together," Bayern defender Matthijs de Ligt told reporters.

"Football is never only beautiful."

"Sometimes you just have difficult periods," the 24-year-old added.

De Ligt played one season under Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri at Juventus and said he was familiar with the Italian's style.

"I learned a lot from him. I was influenced by his tactics and that can help of course."

Lazio manager Sarri said his side will need to embrace "a spirit of sacrifice and suffering" to get past the German behemoths.

A Europa League winner with Chelsea in 2019, Sarri has never taken a team beyond the last 16 stage of the Champions League.

"We must be courageous and determined," Sarri said.

"It will require a spirit of sacrifice and suffering.

"In football, nothing is impossible."

Lazio sit ninth in Serie A with 11 games to go and look in danger of missing out on European football next season.

Sarri said Lazio could draw on Friday's 1-0 loss against AC Milan for this week's trip to Munich, where the Roman club finished with just seven outfield players after three red cards.

"We played a great match against Milan," Sarri said.

"I hope that Friday's bitterness will be transformed into positive energy for tomorrow."