Timo Werner and Leroy Sane were on target while Leon Goretzka shone bright as Germany cruised to a 3-1 victory over Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday.
Germany manager Joachim Low welcomed back a number of his heavy-hitters after the friendly win against Czech Republic, but it was far from an ideal start for the hosts in Leipzig, with Ukraine bagging the opener through Roman Yaremchuk just twelve minutes into the contest. Die Mannschaft, though, struck back ten minutes later as Leroy Sane found the back of the net after cutting in from the right side.
Germany then managed to eke ahead in the contest, with Timo Werner heading home a Leon Goretzka pass in the 33rd minute. Early in the second period, there was a scare for the hosts when Niklas Sule deflected an Oleksandr Zinchenko effort onto the woodwork. However, the hosts sprung back strongly, with Sane drawing a save from Andriy Pyatov, while Serge Gnabry also came close on a couple of occasions.
The home team finally found the third of the night, with Werner applying the finishing touches to a pass from Matthias Ginter. Ukraine struck the woodwork on two more occasions through Marlos and Junior Moraes, but failed to add to the scoresheet as Germany held out for an important win that sees them move to the top of the UEFA Nations League Group A4. And, here’s how we rated the performances of Joachim Low’s men on the night.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 14, 2020
Manuel Neuer: 6/10
Didn’t have a whole lot of saves to make on the night, with Germany controlling proceeding for most parts. Distribution from the back was on point from the seasoned campaigner, as he completed 37 of his 40 attempted passes.
Matthias Ginter: 7/10
Playing on the right side of the defence, the Borussia Monchengladbach defender looked comfortable for most of the game, keeping things tight at the back. Got the assist for Werner’s second of the night with a well-hit cross. Ended the game with two key passes to his name.
Niklas Sule: 7/10
Solid as ever, considering that he had been in quarantine not long ago. The Bayern Munich centre-back was alert to any threat posed by the Ukrainian attackers, while also showing good awareness to cover for his defensive partner Antonio Rudiger whenever he was caught out.
Antonio Rudiger: 5/10
Starting once again, the 27-year-old Chelsea defender struggled to make an impression once again. Positioning was quite poor throughout and it was quite apparent that he hasn’t been playing regularly. Did misplace just three of his 96 attempted passes on the night, but needs to do more.
Philipp Max: 7.5/10
A positive performance on just his second appearance for the national team from the PSV Eindhoven man, who made a number of surging forward runs down the left-hand side and went on to play six key passes – the most by any player on the night. Didn’t shy away from his defensive responsibilities and completed a match-high four tackles while making an interception as well. Can make the left-back slot his own if he keeps up with these performances.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7/10
Had a lot of running to do and ground to cover, which he did effectively, while keeping things ticking over with his precise passing from the middle of the park. Started a number of attacks for his side, including the one that led to Werner’s third, finding Ginter with a fine through-ball.
Robin Koch: 7/10
A promising display from the Leeds United man, who acted as a hybrid of a defensive midfielder and a centre-back. Dropped in between the two centre-halves when needed, while pushing upfield with intent when the opportunities presented itself. Read the game pretty well and cut out attacks, managing a game-high four interceptions and completing two tackles. Played a role in the lead-up to Werner’s first of the night.
Leon Goretzka: 9/10
3 assists now. https://t.co/Xf73jWtc4B
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 14, 2020
The man who ran the show for Germany against Ukraine. Led the charge from the front, pressing the opponents high and hard while being clever with his usage of the ball when in possession. Got the assist for Sane’s goal with a fine through ball and then set Werner up for Germany’s second of the night with a brilliant cross. Drew a couple of saves from Pyatov himself. Took it upon himself to ensure Germany didn’t miss Joshua Kimmich and did so with aplomb.
Leroy Sane: 8/10
A dazzling display from the Bayern Munich winger, who used his pace well to cause problems to the visitors’ backline. Got his team back on level terms with a thumping effort after cutting in from the left and had a couple more efforts blocked. Created a chance for Gnabry in the second half, who failed to make the most of it. Attempted (6) and completed (3) the most number of dribbles in the game.
Serge Gnabry: 6.5/10
A bright performance from the ex-Arsenal man, whose constant interchanging of positions with Sane and Werner caused Ukraine a lot of problems. However, Gnabry was let down by his finishing on the night, as he failed to capitalise on two very promising opportunities in the second period.
Timo Werner: 8/10
Put Germany ahead with a good header from close-range before sealing the victory with another well-taken effort in the second half. Was a lively presence throughout, with his pace, movement and link-up play with his attacking partners. Werner has now scored in each of his last five appearances for club and country.
Timo Werner has now scored 9 goals in his last 9 games for Chelsea & Germany. Long may it continue!!! pic.twitter.com/HjkKTHpmih
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) November 15, 2020
Julian Brandt: N/A
Came on for Werner with less than fifteen minutes left.
Luca Waldschmidt: N/A
Late substitute for Sane.