Rating the players as England hit back to draw 1-1 in Germany

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Jack Grealish and Harry Kane celebrate after England equalise in a 1-1 Nations League draw against Germany Credit: PA Images
Jack Grealish and Harry Kane celebrate after England equalise in a 1-1 Nations League draw against Germany Credit: PA Images

England weren’t very good and then Jack Grealish came on and they were much better. A decent point in the end, all things considered. Here are some ratings if you want some (very slightly) more in-depth thoughts…

 

JORDAN PICKFORD
Made one fine save but will be disappointed by the way he almost veered out of the way for Hofmann’s goal to conclude a catalogue of errors that led to Germany taking an admittedly fully-deserved lead.

 

KYLE WALKER
Struggled with Jamal Musiala specifically and the intensity of Germany’s press generally during a first half in which he specifically and England generally struggled to match the vim and verve of their hosts.

 

JOHN STONES
Did neither one thing nor the other as Joshua Kimmich worked the opening beautifully for Jonas Hofmann to rattle home the first goal of the game on 50 minutes, and it was a goal that had been coming pretty much since the first whistle. Seemed to spend the entire match half a step off the pace

 

HARRY MAGUIRE
Got in a mess trying to bully Kai Havertz and was lucky the offside flag rescued him. Made a better job of being a nuisance around Manuel Neuer to set up a chance Harry Kane blazed over but would surely have been disallowed anyway under the long-standing Goalkeeper Protection Law. For right or wrong, Maguire’s generally clumsy-looking manner in all such duels means keepers will if anything get even more protection than normal which is a very large amount of protection indeed. Stepped out injudiciously in the build-up to the opening German goal and his most significant contribution was an injury-time clearance off the back of his head. He’s just not having a great time.

 

KIERAN TRIPPIER
Like Walker, struggled with the German press and was forced into the sort of errors that decent right-backs would probably make rather more of when playing at left-back if international football weren’t generally played at quite a low standard. Set-piece delivery wasn’t at its best either.

 

KALVIN PHILLIPS
Injured again inside eight minutes on his return to the England starting XI after an injury-ravaged season. Tried to continue but it was quickly clear that wasn’t going to work. Poor sod.

 

DECLAN RICE
Almost played Pickford into terrible trouble with a no-look backpass in the slightly confused period immediately after Phillips made way for Bellingham and German tails were entirely up. Not his usual composed and imposing self. Stepped forward to leave Havertz free in the build-up to the goal forcing Maguire to do likewise.

 

BUKAYO SAKA
Barely involved as England struggled to put anything together in the first half but then had a decent effort smartly saved by Neuer and flashed another just wide during the inexplicable eight-minute added time before the break. Those eight minutes were comfortably his best of the night before making way for Jarrod Bowen as England searched for an equaliser.

 

RAHEEM STERLING
While plenty of England players have spent this week looking knacked from playing too much football, Sterling looked like one in need of a run after five weeks without a start. Also seemed to struggle to run off an early knock but there were the odd glimpses of his rapport with Kane along the way.

 

MASON MOUNT
Did very, very little of note and England looked much, much better after he went off which is never really what you want is it? I hadn’t made a single note next to his name when he was hauled off just after the hour and that is only in part due to my own legendary half-arsed laziness.

 

HARRY KANE
Denied a 50th England goal by an absurd Neuer save, but it proved only a temporary delay as a typically emphatic penalty he’d won himself with a bit of help from Jack Grealish and VAR took Kane clear of Sir Bobby Charlton and just three behind Wayne Rooney. It’s long been a case of “when” and “how far” rather than “if” on that score. Slightly odd performance all round, mind, with a couple of tidy chances spurned – including one after the equaliser when he couldn’t quite sort his feet out to get on the end of Grealish’s return pass – but showed plenty of the vision and passing range that makes him so important beyond that increasingly daft goal tally.

 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

SUBSTITUTES:

JUDE BELLINGHAM (for Phillips, 14)
Not his very best game, still very good. Just already a lovely, complete footballer. Reads the game absurdly well for one so young and hardly ever seems to pick the wrong option. That makes him sound dull and robotic, but he’s nothing of the sort. Phillips has done almost nothing wrong for England and has been desperately unlucky with injuries up to and including tonight, but Bellingham really does need to be starting in that midfield now.

 

JACK GREALISH (for Mount, 72)
His best game for England? Probably. Only on the pitch for 20 minutes but he changed the whole mood of a performance that had been reactive rather than proactive until that point. England’s pressing from the front had actually been okay and given them a couple of sights of goal, but only once Grealish was introduced did England really look capable of creating anything themselves from their own possession rather than turnovers. Obviously an element of luck in the ricochet and foul that gave Kane the chance to equalise from the spot but those slices of luck came because Grealish was willing to buy a ticket and see if something happened. Linked up nicely with Kane again shortly after the equaliser to create a chance for a winner that really would’ve been very smashy and entirely grabby.

 

JARROD BOWEN (for Saka, 80)
Couple of good forward runs and one wicked, panic-inducing cross that flashed across Neuer’s goal. Not as transformative as Grealish, but his second cap certainly followed the night’s general trend of England looking better for each substitution they made.

The article Rating the players as England hit back to draw 1-1 in Germany appeared first on Football365.com.

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