Football Features

“This is myth-making stuff” – Player ratings as Robin Gosens leads Germany to destroy Portugal and bring their Euro 2020 to life

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:14, 19 June 2021

In a phenomenally chaotic evening of football, Germany hammered Portugal 4-2 to kickstart their Euro 2020 campaign.

After losing their opening game to France and seeing Hungary pick up a point off the World Champions earlier, Germany knew they needed a reaction or they were in huge danger of going home early. Well, even though they fell behind early… they reacted and got a huge win.

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

Portugal

Rui Patricio – 4 – He wasn’t bad, per se, but his lack of authority and command on crosses hurt his side.

Nelson Semedo – 3 – Utterly abysmal. Had no idea where Gosens was and made almost no effort to adjust and protect his flank from the German marauding menace.

Pepe – 4 – His only weakness is tracking striker movements on crosses, unfortunately for him that was Germany’s gameplan.

Ruben Dias – 5 – Defended well in ordinary situations but was let down by all around him. 6 clearances but still scored an own goal.

Raphael Guerreiro – 4 – Did nothing to help stop Joshua Kimmich’s advancing play. Also scored an own goal.

Danilo – 5 – Didn’t really help track the German wing-backs, nor did he prevent any central incursions.

William Carvalho – 5 – Ineffective.

Bruno Fernandes – 5 – Disappointing. No real penetration on his passes as the game passed him by.

Bernardo Silva – 4 – On the one hand he played a beautiful pass for Portugal’s opener. On the other hand he repeatedly failed to track Robin Gosens and left Nelson Semedo exposed. Should be a 3 (he was so poor defensively) but the pass bumps him up to a 4.

Diogo Jota – 7 – A much brighter display from the Liverpool man as he bagged a goal and an assist. Looked more of a threat.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 7 – A goal and an assist for Cristiano were two of his handful of good touches in the game, the others coming on a delightful bit of skill to humiliate Antonio Rudiger and a lovely touch and cross in the second-half (and, of course, his stupendous headed clearance to start the counter-attack that led to Portugal’s opener). Brilliantly effective as always, just needed his defence to not collapse and he would have delivered another victory for Portugal.

Substitutes:

Renato Sanches (for Bernardo 46′) – 5 – Thundered a long shot off the post late on, but otherwise didn’t help much in attack or in defence when it came to dealing with Gosens.

Rafa Silva (for William 58′) – 5 – Didn’t add much in attack and, again, failed to track Gosens.

Joao Moutinho (for Fernandes 64′) – 5 – Added a bit of stability to midfield.

Andre Silva (for Jota 83′) – 4 – Had one moment where he threatened goal but otherwise didn’t have enough time.


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Germany

Manuel Neuer – 6 – Could have perhaps done better on Portugal’s second goal but otherwise played well. Some delightful passes.

Matthias Ginter – 7 – A solid performance at the back.

Mats Hummels – 8 – Recovered from being Mbappé’d to stifle and shut down the Portuguese attack well, particularly after they were cut open on the opening goal.

Antonio Rudiger – 8 – His usual rock solid self.

Joshua Kimmich – 8 – A constant source of width and crosses for the Germans. Produced an absolute peach of a cross for Germany’s second and fourth goals.

Ilkay Gundogan – 7 – Moved the ball well in the middle of the pitch but questions about his defensive solidity remain.

Toni Kroos – 8 – Quality on the ball, kept Germany ticking over as per usual.

Robin Gosens – 9 – Absolutely out of this world. Gosens was Germany’s best player against France but they couldn’t take advantage of his play. Tonight they very much did. Gosens was a constant threat, and actually scored the first goal with an outrageous volley only for a precision offside to chalk the goal out via VAR.

Some would have been put off by that but Gosens took it as a challenge. The Atalanta wing-back tormented Portugal, holding width and just massacring them with devastating first-time crosses. Directly created the first and third German goals and then scored the fourth with a delightful back-post header.

At 26 years-old Gosens is in his prime and while he has been excellent for Atalanta for quite a while now, if he’s still there at the end of the summer after these incredible performances it will be a tremendous surprise. This is myth-making stuff from Gosens.

Thomas Muller – 8 – This is why Germany got Muller out of retirement. A sensational display full of intelligent movement and sharp link play that really enabled the German victory.

Kai Havertz – 8 – The big Chelsea forward is really starting to find his rhythm. Absolutely lethal movement to attack the German crosses that twice forced the Portuguese into scoring own goals. Bagged a goal of his own at the start of the second-half too. Really good.

Serge Gnabry – 7 – No goal or assist for Gnabry but his movement, dribbling and shot power created plenty of problems for Portugal.

Substitutes:

Marcel Halstenberg (for Gosens 62′) – 5 – His introduction sparked the Portuguese “comeback” as he carried none of the threat that Gosens did. Defensively open and offensively weak. A poor sub from Low.

Emre Can (for Hummels 63′) – 4 – Not good.

Niklas Sule (for Gundogan 73′) – 7 – Came on and immediately reinforced defence. Restoring the presence there that Low had for some reason removed 10 minutes earlier.

Leon Goretzka (for Havertz 73′) – 6 – Good. Powerful.

Leroy Sané (for Gnabry 87′) – n/a – Came on late.