Football Features

“There is no one quite like him” – Full player ratings as Pogba and Mbappe inspire France to beat Germany 1-0 at Euro 2020

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:24, 15 June 2021

In a tight and tense night of football, France beat Germany 1-0 at the Parc des Princes in the first blockbuster clash of Euro 2020.

The match wasn’t as electric as it could have been with Didier Deschamps’ naturally cautious approach, but the World Champions were still too much for a ramshackle German side to handle. They are favourites for a reason.

Here’s how the players rated at the Allianz Arena:

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France

Hugo Lloris – 7 – Calm and composed in goal.

Benjamin Pavard – 7 – Defended well. Was ridiculously allowed to play on after taking a massive bang to the head.

Raphael Varane – 8 – Phenomenal at the back, getting in the way of everything. Made a game-high 5 clearances.

Presnel Kimpembe – 8 – Not as spectacular as Varane but still did well.

Lucas Hernandez – 8 – Marauded forward all first-half but did his work in defence in the second period. An absolute brick wall down his flank. Wicked first-time cross forced the own goal that won the game.

N’Golo Kanté – 7 – Relentless in driving the ball through Germany and, of course, winning it back.

Adrien Rabiot – 7 – Put in an superb shift to act as defensive shield. The one moment he had in attack, however, he missed the chance to put it on a plate for Griezmann and kill the game off.

Paul Pogba – 9 – Dominated the game from the middle of the park. Put in a defensive shift, but was always pushing the ball forward so well. The game-winning goal, for instance, only came because Pogba played a STUPID NICE pass with the outside of his foot. Seriously, you need to see this pass HE JUST LOBBED IT SO EFFORTLESSLY OVER THE DEFENDERS dictating Lucas’ run, Mbappé’s run and where the ball had to go. It completely ripped Germany to pieces and they had no answer, which is why Hummels flapped and turned it into his own net.

It seems bizarre to say it but when he wears a French jersey, Paul Pogba is actually severely underrated. No one can do what he does, no one can lead like he does. There is no one quite like him, he is one of a kind, and we are lucky to be able to watch him strut his stuff so often.

Antoine Griezmann – 8 – Linked play superbly. Worked hard defensively. Took set-pieces accurately. Seriously, he really worked hard defensively. Only Varane made more than his 3 clearances and no one made more than his 3 chances. This was Griezmann at his very best.

Kylian Mbappé – 8 – Looked absolutely sensational in full flight. His every movement was electricity and Germany could not live with him on the break. Only needed a partner as quick as him and he could have taken Germany to pieces like he did Barcelona.

Karim Benzema – 7 – Wasn’t at his brightest but some nice moments of interplay at the head of the pitch. Worked hard defensively in a good Giroud impression. Scored but was ruled out for offside.

Substitutes:

Corentin Tolisso (for Benzema 89′) – n/a – Came on late.

Ousmane Dembélé (for Rabiot 90’+4) – n/a – Came on too late to add any real threat.


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Germany

Manuel Neuer – 7 – Good sweeping behind his defence. Helpless on the goal obviously.

Matthias Ginter – 5 – Couldn’t live with France running at him.

Mats Hummels – 4 – Unlucky to score the own goal (Mbappé as behind him for the tap-in if he had missed it) and did make some superhuman tackle to stop Mbappé getting a clean shot on goal but for the most part he just looked really old.

Antonio Rudiger – 7 – Dominant early on. Somehow avoided censure for biting Pogba.

Joshua Kimmich – 6 – Never looked comfortable at wing-back; picked up an early booking and was on tenterhooks all night. Still produced couple of lovely crosses, though.

Ilkay Gundogan – 5 – Just nowhere near his best.

Toni Kroos – 6 – Predictably could not live with the dynamism of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté but still competed, attempting a game-high 11 tackles as he tried desperately to stem the tide of French attacks.

Robin Gosens – 7 – Probably Germany’s best player. Produced a couple of searing crosses into the box.

Kai Havertz – 5 – Looked really dangerous whenever the ball was played to him but drifted through the game too easily.

Thomas Muller – 5 – Didn’t justify his recall. Looked sloppy.

Serge Gnabry – 4 – Never got going in his central role. Scuffed what few chances did come his way.

Substitutes:

Timo Werner (for Gnabry 74′) – 5 – Did nothing.

Leroy Sané (for Havertz 74′) – 6 – Looked very bright and capable of causing problems for France. Why didn’t he start?

Emre Can (for Ginter 86′) – 5 – Did alright.

Kevin Volland (for Gosens 87′) – 4 – Skewed the only chance he had well high and wide.