Harry Kane: Thomas Tuchel blames striker’s back pain for Bayern Munich substitution

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In that 2011-12 campaign when Bayern finished empty-handed, Kane was finishing a season on loan from Tottenham to Millwall, where he scored seven goals in 22 League One games and was still a year away from his Premier League debut.

This season, he has almost singlehandedly tried to drag Bayern to glory.

Bayern’s second highest scorer, Jamal Musiala – also subbed off in Madrid – has just 12 goals in all competitions.

However, hampered by poor performances and bad decisions around him, Kane has come up just short.

Bayern lost their 11-year grip on the Bundesliga title to Bayer Leverkusen, were knocked out of the German Cup by third-tier Saarbrucken and now they will be stunned having seemed set for an all-German final in the Champions League.

After a quiet opening quarter of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, Kane sprung to life with a snap volley from the D in the 28th minute which Andriy Lunin had to go full stretch down to his left to save.

But Bayern around him were again off the pace, with a passive showing that saw Madrid dominate. Only a series of fine saves from Neuer kept the tie level, until Kane made his most telling intervention.

Alphonso Davies’ strike with his supposed weaker right foot to put Bayern ahead on the night caught the eye, but it was Kane who made the play by dropping deep, then spraying an idea pass out to the left for the Canadian full-back to take on, cut inside and fire home.

Kane’s value to Bayern stretches way beyond goals. He even led the complaints to the referee when Nacho shoved Joshua Kimmich in the face before Madrid appeared to have equalised, prior to the goal being ruled out by VAR.

But then came the turning point, as with five minutes remaining Tuchel replaced Kane with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as part of a series of changes to try and see out the match.

“That will be viewed as the moment Tuchel lost this for Bayern,” German football expert Archie Rhind-Tutt told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“You could see it in his facial expression after the second Madrid goal went in – he looked shaken. He usually has a very good poker face, Tuchel. That for me was a guy who knew it had all gone wrong.”

Tuchel, due to depart at the end of the season, defended his call, saying Kane was in no state to continue.

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“He couldn’t keep going. He played with back pain and he couldn’t keep going, his back froze up,” Tuchel said.

Shortly before Kane came off, Choupo-Moting’s fellow former Stoke City player Joselu was thrown on by Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti – and he snatched the striking glory.

As the Real players streaked on to the pitch to celebrate Joselu’s winner, Kane was left in the away team dugout to wonder what might have been.


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