Connect with us


European football: Harry Kane reaches new best, Leverkusen stay unbeaten



Harry Kane scored once in either half to guide Bayern Munich to a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday and a welcome boost before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid.

The Bavarians, who saw Bayer Leverkusen end their 11-year-Bundesliga reign by securing the league crown two weeks ago, have only the Champions League left to fight for with departing coach Thomas Tuchel eager to leave on a high note.

They went in front when Kane tapped in a Konrad Laimer assist after the Austrian’s fine run in the ninth minute. But Laimer had to be taken off injured a little later.

Eintracht levelled in the 23rd with Hugo Ekitike’s shot from 18 metres but Kane restored order with a penalty just past the hour for his 35th league goal.

It was his 400th career goal at senior level for clubs and country, and his 42nd goal this season across all competitions is also a personal best for the England captain. The hosts did however have to replace THE Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt at half-time after he suffered some rough challenges.

“Ahead of a key Champions League game such matches are not always easy. We then lost Konrad and Matthijs,” Tuchel said afterwards. “But a win is the best preparation. Now we can fully focus on Tuesday.”

He will, however, need to wait to see if De Ligt and Laimer will recover in time. “De Ligt has pain in the knee ligaments and Konrad has an ankle injury. We now will have to wait and see what the X-rays show and hope they can make it for Tuesday.”

Bayer Leverkusen scored a last-gasp equaliser through Robert Andrich to come from two goals down and rescue a 2-2 draw against Stuttgart that extended their record unbeaten run to 46 matches across all competitions. Leverkusen – who play Roma in the Europa League semi-finals, are also through to the German Cup final and have already secured their first ever league title – have now scored 16 goals in stoppage time in all competitions this season.

After a low-key first half Leverkusen were quickly 2-0 behind after the break with Chris Fuehrich drilling in on the rebound after keeper Lukas Hradecky had palmed a shot on to the post in the 47th minute. Deniz Undav doubled the visitors’ lead 10 minutes later before Leverkusen launched their comeback attempt with Amine Adli beating keeper Alexander Nuebel with a low drive in the 61st.

Nuebel made three sensational saves to protect Stuttgart’s slim lead but Andrich came to the rescue deep in stoppage time to extend their impressive undefeated run.

Stuttgart are third on 64, five behind second-placed Bayern Munich. Leverkusen are top on 81 points with three matches remaining.

Borussia Dortmund, who host Paris St-Germain on Wednesday in their Champions League semi-final first leg, suffered a 4-1 loss to direct rivals RB Leipzig who held on to fourth place.

skip past newsletter promotion

Leipzig are on 62 points, five ahead of fifth-placed Dortmund, with the top four finishers guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League group stage. Germany is likely to earn a fifth spot as one of the top two in Uefa’s coefficient table depending on the remaining results in European competition this season.

Juventus and Milan played out a 0-0 draw at a sold-out Allianz Stadium in Serie A, with both sides still seeking to secure Champions League spots for next season. Milan are second in the standings on 70 points while Juventus remain third on 65 with four games left to play, after Inter Milan sealed the title on Monday.

Bologna and Roma complete the top five on 62 and 58 points respectively, both with a game in hand before they play their games on Sunday.

This story will be updated

Continue Reading