Football Features

De Gea lays down Henderson gauntlet: Full player ratings as Spain earn late draw in Germany

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:07, 3 September 2020

Germany and Spain opened their 2020/21 Uefa Nations League campaign with a 1-1 draw in Stuttgart on Thursday evening.

Timo Werner gave Germany the lead five minutes after half-time and that looked to be enough to secure the win, but Jose Gaya equalised for Spain in the fifth minute of injury to earn La Roja a point.

Here’s how the players rated:

Germany

Kevin Trapp – 6 – Was lucky not to be punished early on having come out of his area unnecessarily, but credit must be given for his goal-saving tackle on Rodrigo. Couldn’t do much about Gaya’s equaliser, with the left-back unmarked in front of goal.

Emre Can – 5 – Playing at centre-back, Can was the weakest link of Germany’s back three, caught out a few times in the first half. It was his misplaced pass that led to Rodrigo’s chance, although he did improve after half-time particularly when pushed back into midfield.

Niklas Süle – 6 – The birthday boy had a fairly uneventful evening but should have done better for Spain’s equaliser, allowing Gaya to sneak past him into open space.

Antonio Rüdiger – 6 – His performances for Chelsea have brought criticism in recent weeks but he looked rather composed, without having to push himself too much.

Thilo Kehrer – 4 – It wasn’t the best performance for Kehrer, who had a good chance to give his side the lead in the first half, but directed his shot at De Gea – signs of his wastefulness in attack. Also left Can with a lot of work to do defensively.

Ilkay Gündogan – 7 – The Manchester City midfielder went slightly under the radar in the midfield, but played well. A lovely pass to Gosens in the build up to Werner’s goal was key.

Toni Kroos – 9 – If you were listening to this game on the radio, you might not have realised Kroos was playing, or at least wasn’t too involved. But the Real Madrid midfielder was simply excellent. He was always there, keeping Germany’s midfield ticking and on top, whether it was with his passing, or keeping shape defensively. Led by example and showed why he remains one of the top midfielders in the world.

Robin Gosens – 8 – Making his Germany debut, Gosens was a constant thorn down Spain’s right-hand side, looking to get forward whenever he could. Got onto the end of Gündogan’s pass to set up Werner with a decent ball of his own across the box.

Leroy Sané – 4 – The winger got into a lot of good positions and, on another day, might have done something special. But it was not a good game for Sane, who constantly wasted chances, often through poor passes, both misdirected and heavy, subsequently breaking down German attacks.

Timo Werner – 8 – Quiet and slightly wasteful in the first half, Werner came alive almost immediately after the break by giving Germany the lead. Receiving the ball on the edge of the area, Werner beat Pau Torres with a lovely sidestep before coolly finishing into the bottom left corner.

Julian Draxler – 8 – Despite being the least noticed of Germany’s attackers, Draxler had a great game, always probing and looking to hurt the Spanish defence.

Substitutes:

Matthias Ginter (for Sané 63) – 5 – Inadvertently played Gaya onside for Spain’s injury-time equaliser, having tried to stop Torres’ initial cross.

Suat Serdar (for Gündogan 73) – 5 – Didn’t add too much to Germany’s team, apart from a change in formation.

Robin Koch (for Werner 90) – N/A – A late sub.

Spain

David de Gea – 9 – Who said he was finished? De Gea had an excellent game in Stuttgart and was the main reason Gaya’s late strike was an equaliser and not a consolation. Dealt with pretty much everything thrown at him, claiming crosses with ease and pulling off a trademark wonder save every now and then. Made seven saves in total, showing Dean Henderson that he won’t be giving up the Manchester United no.1 shirt without a fight.

Dani Carvajal – 4 – The Real Madrid defender had a tough evening up against Gosens.

Sergio Ramos – 6 – Dealt with Werner well in the first half but struggled slightly in the second. Added pressure to the German back line late on, making his tradition foray forward, and it eventually paid off albeit not through him.

Pau Torres – 7 – You wouldn’t have thought Torres was playing just his second senior game for Spain, as the centre-back looked like he had been part of the defence for at least a decade. But there were understandably glimpses of weakness, being beaten easily by Werner for the German’s goal.

Jose Gayà – 7 – The better of the two Spain full-backs, Gaya had a decent game both in defence and attack, though he was given an easier ride against Sane. Was in the right place at the right time to score Spain’s equaliser.

Fabián Ruiz – 7 – The Napoli midfielder’s impact on the game went unnoticed at times, but it was a solid performance before being taken off.

Sergio Busquets – 4 – The weak point of Spain’s midfield, Busquets looked off the pace from early on, struggling to control the midfield and granting Germany chances with poor passing.

Thiago – 8 – Unsurprisingly, Thiago was the focal point of the midfield, looking to cut through Germany’s defence with his passing but also doing his bit at the back – though he was a bit too strong in the tackle at times.

Jesús Navas – 5 – Back in an attacking position, Navas struggled to make much of an impact before being replaced at half-time.

Rodrigo – 4 – Although he got the assist for Gaya’s equaliser with a well-won header, it was an otherwise frustrating night for the Leeds forward. Should have given Spain the lead inside 15 minutes but failed to capitalise on Trapp’s mistake, being tackled by the goalkeeper.

Ferrán Torres – 8 – Excellent in attack, testing Germany’s defence throughout with his direct running and crossing. It was his lovely cross to Rodrigo that set up Gaya’s equaliser. Manchester City have a player here.

Substitutes:

Ansu Fati (for Navas 45) – 5 – Threatened to get at Germany’s back line but couldn’t back that telling contribution. Had an injury-time header ruled out for a foul by Ramos.

Mikel Merino (for Busquets 57) – 6 – Brought a bit more control into Spain’s midfield.

Óscar Rodriguez (for Fabián 80) – 5 – Didn’t have enough time to make too big an impact.