Harry Kane calls on Bayern Munich to save their season and knock out Arsenal

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Bayern;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Bayern</a>'s Harry Kane attends a news conference in Munich on Tuesday.</span><span>Photograph: Matthias Schräder/AP</span>

Harry Kane admits Bayern Munich’s underperforming stars must “step up and be counted” in their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Arsenal, which offers hope of rescuing a potentially trophyless season.

A lack of silverware was not part of the plan when Kane joined Bayern last summer but they have drawn a blank domestically, a fact confirmed on Sunday when Bayer Leverkusen sealed the Bundesliga title, taking it outside Bavaria for the first time since 2012. But they start as favourites against Mikel Arteta’s side on Wednesday after last week’s 2-2 draw and Kane believes it is time for the six-time continental champions to make their experience count.

“If you look at our performances this year there has been a different type of performance in the Champions League,” he said. “I feel like we have maybe been together more, willing to do more on the pitch defensively and in other aspects. It’s a time to raise our game, time for me and the players who have been in big pressure situations to step up and be counted. There’s a lot of expectation but I think there is a good belief in the squad that we can achieve something tomorrow.”

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After reaching the final with Spurs in 2019, ultimately drawing a blank as his former employers were beaten by Liverpool, he feels a sense of unfinished business in Europe’s elite tournament. “Whenever you reach the final of a competition and don’t quite get over the line there’s always that burning fire inside you to get back there and go that one step further,” he said. “We have an opportunity this year and if we can take that step tomorrow night then we’re only a couple of games away from trying to get to Wembley.”

Kane’s own record for Bayern is beyond reproach. He has scored 39 goals in all competitions this season, the most recent a penalty at the Emirates last Tuesday. Injuries to Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, as well as Alphonso Davies’s suspension, will cut off some of his supply line but negotiating those problems would give them a chance of transforming their campaign.

“I don’t think it’s as harsh as that,” Kane said when asked whether falling short would make his season a failure. “There are a lot of things that go into it but the main thing for us right now is that we still have an opportunity to turn the season into a great season if we win the Champions League. That motivation is still there and, as players, you can only hang on to it. If we can do something special tomorrow night of course that keeps the hope alive.”

Arsenal famously released Kane when he was nine and he revealed the memory still lingers when he faces his former north London derby rivals. “It was one of the biggest games of the season for pretty much my whole career,” he said. “Maybe it was in the back of the mind, being released from a young age, and there’s always a point to prove. I’m the type of player who, throughout my career, has had points to prove along the way. I don’t think that ever leaves you. I think it’ll always be in my DNA until I retire.”

The Bayern manager, Thomas Tuchel, gave Bayern’s prospects a lift when he said Leroy Sané, who had been a doubt, will be fit to play. Tuchel, who will leave at the end of the season, believes the pedigree to which Kane referred should give them the edge. “I think we have the slight advantage of experience in our team,” he said. “We have players who have won it, we have players who have played decisive matches in this competition. But to make it an advantage, we still have to bring out our very best.”