Football Digest: Maguire gets Southgate's support amid Man Utd woes
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could be forgiven for focusing on Harry Kane when his side meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week. However, the German giants have plenty of other threats to worry about, and after an electric performance against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night, Leroy Sane could pose a real problem for the Red Devils.
A trip to the Allianz Arena is a daunting experience at the best of times. Bayern have won the German title for 11 years in a row, and they tend to make an impact in the latter stages of the Champions League.
Now with Thomas Tuchel at the helm and Kane spearheading the attack, the Bavarians are an even more threatening proposition. The former Tottenham striker continued his red-hot start in the Bundesliga, bagging a back-post header to open the scoring in a 2-2 draw at home to Leverkusen.
The 30-year-old has wasted no time bedding in, notching four goals across his first four games as he bids to start building a formidable silverware cabinet.
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But United would be foolish to focus solely on keeping Kane quiet in their Champions League showdown. Sane has been mightily impressive in the first few games of the season, and it was his whipped-in corner kick that had Leverkusen scrambling before Kane headed home.
Wicked deliveries are just one string in the former Manchester City star’s bow. Powerful runs forward, confident spells drifting inside and accurate through-balls were also a feature of Sane’s performance against Leverkusen.
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Despite ending the game with only one assist, the jet-heeled winger could have had another when Serge Gnabry headed a curling cross wide.
A vicious strike from the edge of the box came within a whisker of Sane getting on the scoresheet himself, calling Lukas Hradecky into a spectacular save before Leon Goretzka got what looked Bayern’s winner in the final minutes, although Exequiel Palacios’ stoppage-time penalty rescued a point for the visitors.
With three goals in his first four Bundesliga matches this season, Sane is on course to blitz last campaign’s total of eight. Now 27 years old and theoretically in his prime, the wideman could be a key threat when the Red Devils come to town next week.
Ten Hag’s side will hope to go into their Champions League opener with positive momentum, having spent the international break stewing over a painful 3-1 defeat to Arsenal earlier this month.
Returning to winning ways may not be easy, however, as high-flying Brighton are set to visit Old Trafford on Saturday with hopes of venturing further into the top six.
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