Harry Kane scored twice as Bayern Munich claimed a dramatic 4-2 win against brave Bundesliga newcomers Heidenheim to oust Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the table.
Thomas Tuchel’s side raced into a two-goal lead thanks to their talismanic striker, who has now scored a record-breaking 17 goals in 11 league games, with Kane swivelling and lashing the ball beyond Kevin Muller in the 14th minute.
One soon became two when ‘King Kane’, as he is affectionately known in Munich, was left foolishly unmarked in the box and applied a smart header to Leroy Sane’s deft delivery.
Bayern were in cruise control at the break, spearheaded by the England captain, but suffered a brief collapse midway through the second period to gift Heidenheim two quickfire goals.
Tim Kleindienst gave the visitors a lifeline in the 67th minute, turning home Eren Dinkci’s cross, before Jan-Niklas Beste’s speculative effort wrong-footed Manuel Neuer to draw the visitors level three minutes later.
There was uproar in the stands, and on the touchline, given Tuchel had made a triple substitution moments before Heidenheim’s late assault, but it never really felt like Bayern were willing to surrender precious points in such disparate circumstances.
The 33-time German champions came on strong in the closing stages and re-established their lead through Raphael Guerreiro before substitutes Mathys Tel and Eric Choupo-Moting combined to guarantee victory with five minutes remaining.
How Kane stretched astonishing scoring run
Bayern provisionally climbed into top spot in the Bundesliga, while Kane extended his personal record-breaking scoring run – a good afternoon’s work in the Allianz Arena, except it was not all plain sailing for the reigning champions.
Kane, who has now bagged 21 goals in 15 league and European appearances, opened his account early on with a superb turn and drilled shot.
He then struck again with a powerful header a minute before the break to become the first player in Bundesliga history to score 17 goals in the first 11 matchdays of a season – and now has more league goals than last season’s top scorers managed in the entire 2022-23 campaign.
Tuchel was less than impressed, though, with his team’s clumsy defending which allowed Heidenheim to roar back in the second half and score twice in four calamitous minutes.
Kleindienst cut the deficit after Bayern were caught napping on a Heidenheim counter-attack and Beste equalised after yet another defensive error in the 70th minute.
Fortunately for Tuchel, the home side recovered valiantly with a goal from Guerreiro – his first for Bayern – and a Choupo-Moting header to lift them into top spot on 29 points. Hard fought, but ultimately deserved.
Second-placed Leverkusen, on 28, host embattled Union Berlin on Sunday.
Analysis: Supreme Kane matchless on current form
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:
“The numbers speak for themself. But let’s be clear about Harry Kane’s immense contribution to this Bayern side, beyond the goals. In the first half of Saturday’s Heidenheim tie, Kane was spraying passes like prime Andres Iniesta, circa 2007.
“His balance, ball control and passing range, in close spaces, was wonderful to watch. The link between him, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane essentially rendered Heidenheim powerless in the first period.
“And when things unraveled momentarily in the second, it was Kane who continued to wrestle ascendancy – he did indeed waste chances to complete his treble, but that didn’t matter, because his general display was so splendidly complete.
“To have outscored last season’s Bundesliga Golden Boot winner [Niclas Fullkrug], in November, is astounding. It’s no wonder the 30-year-old is being talked about as the best player in the world on current form. He’s making it increasingly difficult to disagree.”
After the international break, Bayern visit Cologne on Friday November 24, with the match live on Sky Sports Mix, kicking off at 7.30pm.
Meanwhile, FC Heidenheim 1846 host Bochum on Sunday November 26, with the match live on Sky Sports Football, kicking off at 2.30pm.