Be real – Harry Kane’s trophy curse had no chance against Madrid’s voodoo

An atrocious error from Manuel Neuer paved the way for yet another incredible comeback from the kings of Europe

An atrocious error from Manuel Neuer paved the way for yet another incredible comeback from the kings of Europe.

Just when you think Real Madrid are out of the Champions League, they drag themselves back in. On Wednesday, for the umpteenth time in their long and illustrious history, the kings of Europe turned around a tie that appeared to be lost, coming from a goal down with two minutes to play against Bayern Munich to triumph 2-1 and set up a final showdown with Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on June 1.

Madrid had been the better side for the most of an absorbing semi-final second leg at Santiago Bernabeu, but could find no way past an inspired Manuel Neuer, who was rolling back the years with an exhibition in the art of shot-stopping.

However, the Bayern No.1 then inexplicably fumbled the ball in front of Joselu, who pounced to level the game – before striking again from close range in injury time to complete the kind of dramatic comeback that now feels customary coming from Madrid.

Harry Kane’s work appeared to be done. When he came off with six minutes of normal time remaining, Bayern were a goal to the good while Madrid were running out of ideas. Better still, Kane had played his part in putting his team on the way to Wembley with a characteristically brilliant bit of hold-up play that saw him break free of his marker before releasing Alphonso Davies with an excellent cross-field ball before the Canadian cut inside and lashed into the top corner.

However, the England international then suffered the agony of having to watch on helplessly from the bench as Bayern imploded, evoking memories of a forlorn Lothar Matthaus being left dumbstruck by Manchester United’s incredible comeback in the 1999 Champions League final. Matthaus’ career would end without him ever winning the European Cup – but he could at least take comfort in the fact that he’d already lifted numerous major titles, including the World Cup.

As it stands, Kane has yet to claim a single piece of silverware, and this latest devastating setback will be particularly hard to take. It was just so very ‘Spursy’.


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