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:


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.


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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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.


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.