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HARRY KANE won the first of his two battles with Jude Bellingham.

But whether the England captain will get to Wembley remains to be seen.

Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham squared off in the Champions League semi-finals.

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Kane scored from 12 yards to give Bayern Munich a second half lead over Real Madrid.

When he was unveiled as a Bayern player here at the Allianz Stadium back in August, Kane said the plan was to return to London on June 1 and win the Champions League.

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Despite his team’s spectacular title collapse in the Bundesliga, Kane still has a chance of winning the first trophy of his career.

Yet he needs to deliver another fine performance in Madrid next Wednesday and hope – and this is the problem – that his defence does not let him down.

Kane won the first of his two battles against Bellingham in an intriguing Champions League semi-final.

Outstanding throughout, Kane put his team ahead in the tie from the penalty spot for his 43rd goal in 43 games for Bayern.

His strike completed a huge turnaround at the start of the second half as it came just four minutes after Leroy Sane, with his first goal since October, cancelled out a first half strike from Real’s Vinicius Junior.

But with seven minutes left, Vinicius got his second of the game from the penalty spot after Bayern defender Min-jae Kim fouled Rodrygo

While Kane was impressive, particularly with his build-up play, Bellingham did not enjoy the best of nights.

He put in a shift but playing extremely high up the pitch, at times as a false nine, he did not see much of the ball.

He even appeared to try and say something to Kane just before he took the 54th minute spot kick but the youngster was told to go away by French referee Clement Turpin.

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With 15 minutes left, he was replaced by Luka Modric.

In his three years at Dortmund, Bellingham faced Bayern eight times and was not on the winning team for any of them and failed to score a goal.

Maybe that run will end next Wednesday and he will need to cause Bayern’s defence, which can be rocky at times, a bit more discomfort than last night.

But their trump card is the star striker Kane.

He has now been directly involved in 11 goals in the Champions League this season – eight goals, three assists – and it is the most ever by an English player in a single campaign in the competition.

Apart from his outstanding goals return for Bayern, Kane has also chipped in handsomely with assists, 13 in total, although No. 14 should have arrived after 40 seconds.

Sane was put clean through by a clever Kane pass but the former Manchester City winger hammered a shot straight at Andriy Lunin when he needed to be a bit more composed.

Kane then attempted one of the most outrageous goals of this Champions League season.

After Bellingham was caught in possession – and having spotted Lunin off his line – Kane tried his luck from just inside the half but there was too much pace on the shot and it sailed over the bar.

Bayern started off impressively and were threatening to overwhelm the Spaniards.

Ancelotti stood on the edge of his technical area, hands in pockets, shaking his head in disbelief.

Yet just when they were in serious danger, Toni Kroos proved to be a calming and decisive presence for Real.

In February, Kroos announced he was ending his international retirement to feature at Euro 2024 and you can see why German boss Julian Naglesmann was feeling particularly pleased with himself after using his powers of persuasion.

After overcoming that early spell of Bayern pressure, Kroos gave a reminder as to why, at the age of 34, he remains such a class act.

He spotted a huge gap in Bayern’s defence because Kim had pushed up too high to keep close to Vinicius.

Kim was clearly terrified of his opponent’s speed. Kroos sensed that, played a ball behind the South Korean who could not keep up with Real’s lightning-quick No 7 while Eric Dier could not get across.

The Brazilian international struck a first-time shot from around the penalty spot past the exposed Manuel Neuer and while that 24th minute goal may have not silenced Bayern’s noisy ultras, it knocked the stuffing out of their team.

While Kroos forced a fine-one-handed save from Neuer shortly into the second half, Bayern then hit Real with a proper one-two.

Sane collected a pass from Conrad Laimer, carried the ball from the right into the area, cut inside Ferland Mendy and then dispatched an unstoppable shot past Lunin at his near-post.

When Jamal Musiala burst into the box, he was kicked on the shin by Lucas Vazquez and Kane was never going to miss from the penalty spot – even if Bellingham was trying to put him off.

Real were handed a way back when Kim fouled Rodrygo and Vinicius and now, tantalisingly, this huge battle remains in the balance.

 

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