The German press have torn into Harry Kane after Bayern Munich suffered a dreadful 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday night.
Thomas Tuchel‘s side headed into the crunch clash with just two points separating them from their Bundesliga title rivals.
However, Bayern endured a disastrous evening as they were hammered thanks to goals Josip Stanisic, Alejandro Grimaldo and Jeremie Frimpong. To add insult to injury, Stanisic is currently on loan at Leverkusen from Bayern.
The result means Xabi Alonso’s side – who remain unbeaten – are five points clear of Bayern with 13 games to go. Therefore, the German giants are now in danger of missing out on the Bundesliga title for the first time since 2011-12, having won it for 11 consecutive seasons.
And, following the clash, several of Bayern’s stars were slammed by the German media, including Kane.
Harry Kane’s performance was labelled a ‘catastrophe’, while a headline to one article read: ‘The Kane disaster’.
It went on to add: ‘He was actually brought in for games like this,’ before it later said: ‘Harry Kane and his worst game in a Bayern jersey.’
In total, the England skipper took just 18 touches across the 90 minutes. He had one shot as Bayern achieved an xG of 0.27 despite having 62 per cent of possession.
Reports went onto criticise Kane further for his inefficiency against Leverkusen’s defenders, while highlighting how Alonso’s outfit deserved the victory, with Tuchel left bemoaning ‘the lack of power at the front’ of his team.
It continued: ‘Kane wasn’t in the game at all. No goal, no assist!
‘Only his effort was right: he ran 10.8 km, only Mazraoui ran more for Bayern”.
‘He should win the top scorer cannon. But he came to Bayern to win championships…’
Speaking post-match, Kane said, ‘We didn’t play well with the ball. I thought the pressure, especially in the first half and even in the second half, we pressed them well. However, every time we won it back we gave it straight back to them”.
‘That allowed them to build momentum. In the final third we weren’t good in one-vs-one battles, we weren’t good in duels, the final delivery wasn’t there today, so a really disappointing day with the ball”.
‘We’re five points behind now but there are still a lot of games to go. This one hurts, we wanted a different outcome, but we have to focus on, first, the Champions League, and obviously the next game”.
‘There are a lot of games to be played and we have to try and make up as many points as we can, as quickly as we can.’
When pressed on whether Bayern were now underdogs in the title race, Kane added: ‘That’s not for us to decide. That’s for everyone else to decide.
‘For us, we have to focus on ourselves, we have to improve, we have to get better. We know that. The games are coming thick and fast so we have to turn it around quick.’
Kane’s £100m move to Germany in the summer came with the aim of winning trophies as, despite being one of the best strikers of his generation, the 30-year-old is yet to lift any silverware in his career.
But with their title challenge faltering, and Bayern out of the DFB Pokal and having failed to win the German Super Cup, this drought could continue, although Bayern remain in the Champions League.
Despite the significant criticism Kane faced after the Leverkusen defeat, he has enjoyed a sensational season.
The 30-year-old has 28 goals and eight assists in 28 appearances in all competitions and even with Saturday’s blank, Kane has netted 24 times in 21 league games.
But, a dire display in their biggest game of the season so far has attracted significant outcry, with Bayern star Thomas Muller hitting out at his team-mates post-game, hinting that all is not well among the squad.
He fumed: ‘There are of course some symptoms on the pitch. To be honest, I’m p***ed off.
‘To quote Oliver Kahn: What I miss from us players are the b***s in the game. We are showing significantly better approaches in training.
‘It’s okay to feel pressure, but there needs to be energy and freedom. That’s missing in our game.’
He continued: ‘Sometimes we have to speak about us players. It’s not just about the coach.
‘We have many international players at the highest level, we need to step up our game.’
Saturday’s result came after the first league meeting between the title rivals ended in a 2-2 draw back in September and Kane did score on that occasion.
Bayern return to action on Wednesday when they face Lazio in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, before they travel to Bochum in the Bundesliga next Sunday.