Football Features

England’s “Summer of Sterling” continues: Player ratings as the Three Lions beat Germany 2-0 in Wembley masterclass

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:29, 29 June 2021

In a tight and tense evening of football, England beat Germany 2-0 at Wembley, advancing to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.

The win was the first-time the Three Lions have beaten Die Mannschaft at a tournament since Euro 2000, and the first time doing so in the knockout rounds since the 1966 World Cup final. Moreover, the clean sheet means England have now gone nine and a half hours without conceding a goal.

Here’s how the players rated at Wembley:

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England

Jordan Pickford – 8 – Big save on half hour from Werner. Even bigger save at the start of the second-half from Havertz. A supreme performance from a goalkeeper who lives to turn it on for England.

Kyle Walker – 8 – A couple of risky passes early but recovered to defend his flank well. His recovery run stopped Rice getting sent off early.

John Stones – 8 – Another solid performance at the heart of attack.

Harry Maguire – 8 – A huge presence in defence and attack. Germany couldn’t handle “Mustang” Maguire on set-pieces at either end and his communication, passing and running with the ball was essential to any good football England played.

Kieran Trippier – 7 – Did really well to combat Gosens but seemed to hurt his hamstring late on.

Kalvin Phillips – 7 – Pressed and harried Germany really well. Never seemed to tire in a display Marcelo Bielsa will be so proud of.

Declan Rice – 8 – Couldn’t handle Goretzka’s movement early on, booked chasing him back and was fortunate to avoid a red. However he recovered to put in an incredible battling display at the base of midfield. Made a game-high 4 tackles.

Luke Shaw – 8 – Kept on the back foot for much of the game but once Jack Grealish came on it was like Shaw received a green light to go forward and he did just that. Shaw ripped Germany to shreds with his movement into space, creating Sterling’s opener with an incredible cross and did even better for the second goal when he stepped into midfield to rob Gnabry and drive the ball forward before kicking it wide for his running-mate Grealish to cross in for Kane.

 

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Really lively. Didn’t use the ball that well, but beat markers for fun and Germany were never comfortable when he was in possession. Defended really well too. Bafflingly withdrawn in the second-half.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – Great shot early on to test Manuel Neuer and looked a lively force all game long. The driving force for England as an attacking presence. Scored his third goal in the tournament in a move that he started with a driving diagonal run and then finished with a superb run and stabbed shot. The Brent Boy has been brilliant in his backyard at Wembley – will someone else take over as England move to Rome for the quarter-final? Or will England’s “Summer of Sterling” (coined by the BBC commentary) continue onto the continent?

Harry Kane – 5 – Slow, sluggish, off the pace. An absolutely horrendous performance lit up by a neat finish to make it 2-0. Vindication? Well, better teams will perhaps punish Kane’s lack of mobility, but the goal saves him from a terrible rating.

Substitutes:

Jack Grealish (for Saka 69′) – 8 – The game-changer. Came onto the pitch and along with Luke Shaw electrified England’s attack. Made a brilliant drive and pass wide pre-assist for Sterling’s opener and then a delicious cross for Kane’s second.

Jordan Henderson (for Rice 88′) – n/a – Came on late.


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Germany

Manuel Neuer – 6 – Good early save from Sterling, some excellent keeper-sweeping. Could do nothing about either England goal.

Matthias Ginter – 4 – A subpar defender. Was struggling with Sterling all night but hadn’t been made to suffer until Jack Grealish came on when the Villa man and Luke Shaw picked on him twice to create both England goals. His near-post defending was abysmal.

Mats Hummels – 7 – Really impressive showing against Harry Kane. 3 tackles and 5 clearances were team-highs. Bullied Kane but was let down in the end by Ginter at the near-post.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – A solid display despite a couple of ropey moments against Bukayo Saka.

Joshua Kimmich – 6 – Not as creative as one would have expected him to be, and didn’t really help protect Ginter at all.

Leon Goretzka – 6 – The dominant player in the early stages, England couldn’t live with his movement, pace and power. His influence faded as the game wore on, however, and shanking a late shot wide sort of summed his game up.

Toni Kroos – 7 – Mr. Reliable was once again good in midfield despite incessant pressure from the English midfield men. Kept the ball moving and his pass through the lines for Werner’s chance was amazing.

Robin Gosens – 6 – Really underwhelming. Was kept in check by Kieran Trippier.

Thomas Muller – 4 – A quiet game for Germany’s talisman but, like Harry Kane you’d back him to take a great chance if he got it. Then he did get it and The Butcher of Bloemfontain shanked wide with the goal at his mercy in an amusing echo of the Gonzalo Higuain miss that allowed Germany to win the 2014 World Cup. Got subbed off and was raging.

Kai Havertz – 7 – Absolutely brilliant. The best German attack by a distance. His movement was elusive, his passing was precise (he put Thomas Muller clean through for what should have been an equaliser) and he nearly scored a stunning goal. If other Germans were on his level, it would have been a different story.

Timo Werner – 4 – Another performance with good movement and shocking finish. Was put clean through by Havertz in the first-half but shot right at Pickford instead of lifting it over him.

Substitutes:

Serge Gnabry (for Werner 68′) – n/a – Literally did nothing but give the ball away.

Emre Can (for Ginter 87′) – 5 – Was more solid than Ginter.

Leroy Sané (for Gosens 87′) – n/a – Added literally nothing but came on far too late in the game.

Jamal Musiala (for Muller 90’+1) – n/a – Came on late.