08 May 2024

Bellingham v Kane: How England’s two stars fared in Champions League semi-final

08 May 2024

Jude Bellingham won the battle of England’s finest talents against Harry Kane after Real Madrid produced a dramatic turnaround to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 and secure a berth in the Champions League final at Wembley.

Victory for Borussia Dortmund against Paris St Germain on Tuesday night ensured one England international in Jadon Sancho would be on show at the national stadium on June 1.

It will be Bellingham, against his former club, who joins Sancho, and potentially Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, at Wembley after a late brace by Madrid substitute Joselu.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the performances of the two England stars at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Early influence

Bellingham made his mark during the opening exchanges and popped up in all areas as his quick feet and energy caused problems for Bayern. It was a different story for Kane, who cut a frustrated figure early on and had only touched the ball on three occasions by the midway point of the first half.

Ongoing threat

Kane did spring into life with 28 minutes played when his first sight of goal ended with a sweet 25-yard volley being tipped wide by Andriy Lunin. Bellingham already had one shot blocked at this stage, but while a lot of his best work took place outside the area, spaces started to open up for Kane, who had a near-post shot denied by Lunin early into the second period. The England captain did eventually have a say on proceedings when his chipped pass found Alphonso Davies, who rifled in a 68th-minute opener. Kane also sent another late effort wide before he was subbed off.

Overall impact

Eyebrows would have no doubt been raised across the globe when Thomas Tuchel decided to bring off Kane with Bayern one up in the 85th minute. It had not been a vintage Kane display, with only 24 touches and a handful of wayward shots, but his hold-up play had been impressive and with Madrid set to throw everything at the visitors, gaps would have appeared for the forner Tottenham forward. As it was, Kane went off and Bellingham remained on the pitch to recycle the ball to Vinicius to help create the equaliser before Bellingham was amongst a crowd of players when Joselu hit the winner.

What does it mean for England?

Kane’s disappointment at defeat in the Champions League last-four and a trophyless first season with Bayern does at least mean some overdue rest for a player that has made 50 appearances for club and country during this campaign. The Bundesliga finishes on May 18, which means Kane will get at least a short period of down time. He will now be available for England’s Euro 2024 warm-up fixtures with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland at the start of next month, but Bellingham by contrast will be fully focused on a return to his home country for a Wembley showdown against old club Borussia Dortmund.

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