Harry Kane made it obvious Manchester United are crying out for a player of his quality after he helped Bayern Munich outclass Erik ten Hag’s side… he must think he dodged a bullet by not moving to Old Trafford
- Harry Kane grabbed a goal and assist in Bayern Munich’s 4-3 win over United
- Ten Hag said he didn’t regret signing him but United are crying out for his quality
- He showed them what they are missing and he must be glad he swerved United
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off!
The ball from his penalty kick nestled in the bottom corner of the Manchester United net and Harry Kane wheeled away to his left to celebrate in front of his legions of new fans. High above, on the top tier of the Allianz Arena, the United supporters looked down on the prize that had slipped through their grasp again.
Eight minutes of the second half had gone and Kane strolled back towards the half-way line. ‘Rock you like a Harry Kane,’ the stadium announcer yelled over the loud-speaker system and the crowd roared and bounced and acclaimed the England captain, who had just put his side 3-1 up.
And so, to go with his strike against Werder Bremen, his brace against Augsburg and one against Bayer Leverkusen last Friday, he now has a Champions League goal against United. He got an assist, too. And this was Kane on a relatively quiet night.
History is full of British stars who have moved abroad and failed to settle. For every Gary Lineker, who loved life and football in Barcelona, there is an Ian Rush, who looked lost at Juventus. To no one’s great surprise, Kane looks as if he is going to be a Lineker.
Harry Kane showed Manchester United what they are missing as he played an influential role in Bayern Munich’s 4-3 win
The England captain grabbed a goal and an assist to pile further misery on United’s season
Bayern were not at their very best but they still managed to outclass a United side in crisis
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Of the five he has scored for his new team, the penalty against United will have given him the most pleasure. For reasons unknown, United chose not to bid for him in the summer even when it had become plain he was for sale. As their season slid further into crisis, Kane gave them a glimpse of what they were missing.
United coach Erik ten Hag had insisted on Tuesday that he did not regret not signing Kane. Really? The reality is that he had to say that but, as Kane got more and more influential in Bayern’s victory, it was obvious United are crying out for a player of his quality.
Bayern were not at their best here but they still outclassed United. Kane has moved out of their league now. He was bought to try to win another Champions League to add to the Bayern collection and he must look at what is unfolding at Old Trafford and think he dodged a bullet.
Kane does not amble around the pitch like Lionel Messi does but he does not chase the ball, either. He did not touch it for the first ten minutes and when he did, he overhit a pass to Leroy Sane on the right wing that sped into touch.
Erik ten Hag claimed he did not regret failing to sign Kane but the forward made it obvious they are crying out for someone of his quality
In those opening minutes, it was more instructive to witness how United could have benefited from an instinctive finisher like the England skipper. The young Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri and Christian Eriksen both spurned early chances that Kane would have buried.
The same was true ten minutes before half time when Sergio Reguilon burst down the left and slid a brilliant ball across the face of goal. It was begging to be finished. All it needed was a touch. Pellistri and Hojlund watched it roll on by.
But when Kane did get involved, his contribution was crucial. Nearly half an hour had gone and United had been the better team when Kane took a short ball from Sane with his back to goal. He played it straight back to Sane and even though Sane scuffed his shot, it squirmed away from Andre Onana and rolled slowly into the net.
Bayern went further ahead four minutes later when Jamal Musiala exposed Diogo Dalot’s limitations and Gnabry lashed in his pull-back. It felt too easy for Bayern already and Kane had not even slipped into second gear.
That assist, though, was typical of Kane and the effect he can have on a side. He is a team player, a brilliant link-man, someone who does the unselfish thing as second nature. United could do with a few like him, which may have been one of the reasons Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel praised him to the skies on Tuesday.
Kane is a brilliant, unselfish link-man as he demonstrated his creative qualities at the Allianz
‘Anyone looking for a 9 in the summer would’ve been happy to have Harry in the team,’ Tuchel, who was serving a touchline ban, had said. ‘He makes the team better and gives you what you want from a 9. He can drop deep, turn, use the speed of players around him.
‘He can arrive in the box at the right time, he’s an excellent finisher and good penalty taker. I’m not sure what’s going on at other clubs but we’re more than happy that he finally took the decision and came to make us better. Can he be a difference-maker? He will always be a difference-maker in any game.’
Hojlund may yet go on to be a fine player for United and he showed his character three minutes after half time when he forced home a short pass from Marcus Rashford. But he is nowhere near the all-round striker Kane is and as if to remind everyone of that, Kane restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion almost immediately.
Bayern were awarded a penalty when Dayot Upamecano headed against Eriksen’s arm and Kane stepped up to smash the spot-kick low to Onana’s right. Onana guessed correctly but he didn’t have a prayer of saving it.
Kane might have scored again midway through the half but his fierce shot was beaten out by Onana. As Kane chased the loose ball towards the touchline, Lisandro Martinez felled him with a spiteful challenge full of frustration and impotence. It earned the Argentina defender a booking. It was the only time he laid a glove on Kane all night.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
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