There was no match ball for Harry Kane this time. After all, he received the ball-shaped trophy from UEFA for “Man of the Match”, match winner, player of the game. The FC Bayern striker scored both goals in the 2-1 win against Galatasaray and secured Munich’s early place in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
So he really deserves the “ball”. Last weekend, Kane was allowed to take the real copy made of artificial leather with him from the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. This is usually given as a souvenir for a hat trick, the three goals he scored for BVB in a 4-0 win in the Bundesliga.
“Phenomenon” Harry Kane
“He’s a phenomenon,” enthused captain Manuel Neuer after the game against the Turkish champions, and coach Thomas Tuchel couldn’t say “anything else” when classifying Kane’s performances. “The performance tells the story, no further words are needed,” said Tuchel.
Two goals against Galatasaray, three against Dortmund, three against Darmstadt. These are Kane’s returns from his last three appearances in the Munich jersey. That makes a total of 19 goals across all competitions this season. In just 15 competitive games, mind you. The most expensive transfer in the club’s history (100 million euros), it pays off.
Kane’s predecessor Lewandowski in the goal crisis
Jump from Munich to Hamburg. The top Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk is currently playing its home games in the Champions League here. On Tuesday, FC Barcelona were guests at the Volksparkstadion – and made a mistake! From the Catalans’ perspective it was 0-1, and coach Xavi even described the game as a “disgrace”.
In the middle: Robert Lewandowski. Unlike his Munich successor, the ex-Bayern striker runs off the field with his head bowed. The Pole was unable to prevent the disaster and is instead stuck in a deadlock. The 35-year-old has now gone six games across all competitions without scoring his own goal. It is the longest dry spell for him in almost 13 years. He last played for Borussia Dortmund between December 2010 and February 2011 in a series of ten games without scoring a goal.
Lewandowski has been one of the best strikers in the world in recent years – whether at BVB, at Bayern or now at Barca. In his first season in Spain he scored 33 goals in 46 games. However, there is currently little left of this accuracy.
Kane attacks Lewandowski’s record
Meanwhile, while Lewandowski is in crisis, Kane is on his way to shaking up the Pole’s greatest legacy in Munich. In the 2020/21 season, “Lewa” broke Gerd Müller’s goal record, created for eternity. 41 goals, one more than the nation’s bomber. Truly a fabulous season!
But if Kane continues taking pictures at the pace with which he conquered the hearts of Bayern fans, then this record will collapse. With his 15th Bundesliga goal last Saturday in just ten games, he already equaled Müller’s record – Lewandowski was still on twelve goals in 2020 at this point.
In the entire 2020/21 season, the Pole scored a fantastic 48 goals in 40 games across all competitions. Every 71 minutes he played Bayern’s goal anthem, “jabadabaduuuuuu”. He used 27.7 percent of his 4.32 shots on goal per game. Big chances ended up on the net in 53.8 percent of all cases. Sensational values!
Kane and Lewandowski in comparison
The Kane comparison: The Englishman scores every 66 minutes, converts 34.5 percent of all goal chances and is even more effective with big chances at 73.9 percent.
“There’s still a long way to go,” said Kane when asked about Lewandowski’s goal record. “Robert has been fantastic for the club and is one of the best strikers in the world in recent times. We’re still a long way from that, but I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Tuchel ennobled his striker before the double against Galatasaray on Wednesday evening. “It was always clear to me what he could do. There was no doubt in my mind that he can do what he does, score goals and prepare goals, on any pitch in the world,” said the coach.
Kane’s big advantage over Lewandowski
In doing so, he unconsciously emphasized another of the 30-year-old’s great strengths. Kane is more than a classic nine and has already assisted seven more goals since he signed in Munich. Lewandowski only managed a total of nine assists during his historic season. This is where the difference between the two world-class strikers becomes most clear.
Lewandowski is a classic boxing striker, a perpetual threat in the penalty area. Therefore, he has more shots on goal (4.32 to 3.67 per game) and more ball contacts inside the penalty area (7.03 to 4.73 per game).
Kane, on the other hand, participates very actively and intensively in his own game structure. Sofascore’s heatmap shows that the Englishman spends significantly more time in his own half than his predecessor. So he has more connection to the game, but less presence in the penalty area.
FC Bayern raves about Kane
With its current effectiveness it makes up for this disadvantage. Thomas Müller provided Lewandowski with assists for years, and he now has a direct comparison. “I trust him with everything. We just have to put him in position often enough,” he said of Kane. “If he finishes near the penalty area or inside it, then there is a high risk that the ball will be in there.”
Coach Tuchel predicted even more miracles from the English national team captain. “This is not the end – for sure.” For Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen, the striker is a “stroke of luck”. But it was “unforeseeable” that it would turn out this way.
Kane himself is less surprised by this, but all the happier. “As a striker, I obviously enjoy scoring goals,” said the attacker. “I have the feeling that I get to know the boys better and better every game.” Sounds like more balls will be joining his collection soon.