Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer on Wednesday called Harry Kane “a phenomenon” after the striker scored two goals in the final 10 minutes in their 2-1 win against Galatasaray, booking the home side a spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
“Before the game we spoke about how we can rely on him” Neuer told DAZN. “He’s a phenomenon and we’re proud that he’s playing in the team.”
Bayern had won their past 16 Champions League group stage matches in a row, but with scores locked at 0-0 with 10 minutes remaining, the run looked set to end.
However, Kane had other ideas, heading in a Joshua Kimmich free-kick to put his side in front. The goal survived two offside checks.
Kane was not done, scoring again with four minutes remaining to seal the victory and bring his goals tally to a remarkable 19 in 15 in all competitions since joining from Tottenham in the summer.
“I’m enjoying it,” Kane said of his blistering start to life in Germany. “That’s why they brought me here. As a striker, I love to score goals, love being on the pitch and most importantly love winning games.”
Cedric Bakambu scored deep into stoppage-time to give the visitors hope, but Bayern held on.
Galatasaray, who had fought valiantly at home, with Bayern’s 3-1 win far less dominant than the scoreline suggested, again left empty-handed, but can still qualify in the group with two games remaining.
“We expected a tough game after the away leg, but I thought we played better,” Kane said. “We improved in the second half. Overall, we deserved to win and I’m happy we qualified.”
Bayern lost Jamal Musiala late in the first half, the Germany forward signaling to the bench before limping from the field clutching his hamstring.
“It’s not good news,” Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel said, adding that Musiala has “no chance at all” of playing in Saturday’s Bundesliga match against Heidenheim 1846.
Buoyed by a fierce away following in the Bavarian capital, Galatasaray’s best phase came early in the second half, when Canada defender Alphonso Davies was lucky to avoid a second yellow for fouling Lucas Torreira.
The visitors had the ball in the net shortly afterward, but Torreira’s strike was chalked out for the narrowest of offsides.
With time ticking down, Kimmich floated a free-kick toward Kane, the England captain guiding the ball in for the opener.
Bayern’s celebrations were interrupted when the linesman signalled offside, but the goal was allowed.
Kane added his second when he tapped in a Mathys Tel pass from close range, to seal a 17th-straight victory and a spot in the Champions League knockout stages.
Galatasaray replied through Bakambu in the third minute of stoppage-time, but the visitors had left their run too late against a clinical Bayern side.
Tuchel said that his side were “a little sloppy” and “inefficient,” but added that they “perhaps felt the strain” of playing just a few days after their 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund.
Six-time winners Bayern have now gone 38 games unbeaten in the group stages, another Champions League record.
Elsewhere, Manchester United fell in another wild loss, while Real Madrid and Real Sociedad advanced to the round of 16 with two games to spare after impressive home wins over Portuguese opponents, beating SC Braga 3-0 and SL Benfica 3-1 respectively.
Inter also won and entered the knockout phase after a late goal by Lautaro Martinez.
Inter’s 1-0 win against Salzburg was sealed by Martinez’s penalty in the 85th minute.
Man United almost never have straightforward games in the English giant’s drama-filled season on and off the field.
A 4-3 loss against Copenhagen after twice letting leads slip left coach Erik ten Hag’s team last in Group A.
The three-time European champions seemed in total control with a two-goal lead after 28 minutes earned by forward Rasmus Hojlund, returning to face his former club.
However, a red card for United forward Marcus Rashford in the 42nd minute sparked the chaos to follow, which saw Copenhagen level the score in 13 minutes of first-half stoppage time because of two pauses in play, including a protester on the field.
United led again when Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, but could not hang on.
Lukas Lerager leveled in the 83rd minute before 17-year-old substitute Roony Bardghji won it in the 87th.
The Kuwait-born, Sweden under-21 winger scored with a bouncing shot to lift the Danish champions into second place in the group standings, although with just four points.
Arsenal took a four-point lead in Group B by comfortably beating Sevilla 2-0, while PSV Eindhoven rose from last place to second with their first win, 1-0 at home against RC Lens.
Elsewhere Napoli and Union Berlin drew 1-1.
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