Spain vs. Germany 1-1: Player ratings after Fullkrug saves German blushes

Spain vs. Germany 1-1: Player ratings

Spain vs. Germany: Substitutes stole the show as Germany drew 1-1 with Spain in Group E of the World Cup, just about keeping their chances of reaching the knockout rounds alive.

Both sides had opportunities to score in an open first half, but the first half rapidly settled into a rhythm of Spain controlling possession and Germany methodically selecting their pushes. Spain did seem vulnerable when spending too much time on the ball at the back and being caught out, but an offside flag from a free-kick meant they went into half-time equal.

In the early parts of the second half, Die Mannschaft had Spain figured out, but Luis Enrique called on his bench to give La Roja greater offensive impetus. That worked in their favor, as they recovered control of the game and seized the lead. Germany responded with their substitutes, and it seemed improbable that hero Niclas Fullkrug would equalize the score and give them a potentially crucial point.

After just seven minutes, Manuel Neuer tip-toed a thunderous effort from Dani Olmo onto the crossbar. Germany immediately rushed down the other end and forced Unai Simon to make a save, smothering a 1v1 with Serge Gnabry that was subsequently ruled for offside.

Patterns started to form in a chess game centered around the middle. Spain would control the possession, but Germany would have a disciplined form and efficiently press before attempting to play fast down the field. When switching the play and coming back into the half-space, Luis Enrique’s team looked dangerous, but they were as susceptible when falling into Hansi Flick’s false nine scheme.

After 40 minutes, Antonio Rudiger headed Germany ahead from a free kick, but his goal was disallowed for offside, a warning to Spain, who were caught off guard by a foul and poor marking. This opened up the rest of the first half, but neither team could move ahead.

Simon was sometimes too eager to play short to his defenders, and shortly before the hour mark, his ball into Pedri was devoured by the opposing press. Ilkay Gundogan passed to Joshua Kimmich, but his first-time attempt was saved.

Minutes later, replacement Alvaro Morata made a superb run across the top of the box to push a low cross beyond Manuel Neuer, giving Spain a deserved 1-0 lead.

Germany was now in jeopardy, facing extinction. As the time ticked, Flick summoned his bench, putting them back on the offensive. With less than ten minutes remaining, Jamal Musiala surged toward the goal and was brought down by Fullkrug, who slammed into the top of the net for a 1-1 tie.

One point isn’t ideal, and it means Die Mannschaft will need Spain to win Japan on matchday three if they beat Costa Rica, but it’s a lot better than going into the final round with no points. Here is how the players evaluated each other.

Spain vs. Germany player ratings – World Cup Group E

1. Spain (4-3-3)

Unai Simon, goalkeeper – 6/10 Never panicked when on the ball, which was occasionally frightening. It’s OK to take your time, Unai.

RB: Dani Carvajal – 5/10 – Knew his responsibilities; didn’t attempt to overlap or burst forward when he knew it would open up space for Germany. Sensible.

CB: Rodri – 6/10 – There were times when Germany pushed or surged forward, demonstrating that Rodri wasn’t a natural center-back, although he avoided any disasters.

Aymeric Laporte – 6/10 – CB There isn’t much to report. I took the ball and pushed it forward.

7/10 LB: Jordi Alba, I didn’t take enough risks. He received an assist as a result.

Sergio Busquets – 5/10 – He seemed worried anytime he was tested athletically or had to move quickly.

CM: Gavi – 7/10 – Constantly attempted to float into the half space between Rudiger and Raum, causing minor issues. He was in and out of the game but always keen.

Pedri – 7/10 – Showed glimpses of potential but was immediately shut down. As the game progressed, he was able to have more fun.

RW: Ferran Torres – 4/10 – Hugged the touchline early on, which became troublesome, but that was all. On the ball, he offered little and did not rush in behind.

ST: Marco Asensio – 5/10 – Appears to have gotten lost in and amid Germany’s massive defense. Just missed a fantastic opportunity before being hooked.

Dani Olmo (LW) – 7/10 – Spain’s brightest spark. When the ball came his way, he looked like a threat. Direct and technically precise.

SUB: Alvaro Morata (54′ for Torres) – 8/10 – Spain’s missing striker. Started wide and came in, superbly tapping home. That is a very clever goal.

SUB: Koke (66′ for Asensio) – 7/10 – Added flair to Spain’s midfield.

6/10 – SUB: Nico Williams (66′ for Gavi) There is nothing noteworthy to report.

ALBA SUB: Alejandro Balde (82′) – N/A

Luis Enrique, manager – 8/10 It was a bold decision to put Morata on so soon after the break, and it paid handsomely. Another strong effort capped off by brilliant game management.

Germany No. 2 (4-3-3)

 GK: 6/10 – Called upon early in the game to deflect Olmo’s attempt into the crossbar brilliantly.

RB: Niklas Sule – 4/10 – When alone, he was run ragged by Olmo and then caught flat-footed by Morata. He was out of his depth.

Thilo Kehrer – 5/10 – They started well but needed to do more to prevent Spain’s first goal.

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Skied a long-range shot way over the crossbar; awful. Minutes later, he was in front of his side; nice. Unfortunately, it was chalked off.

David Raum – 6/10 – Disciplined performance. At times, Gavi and Torres teamed up on him, but he handled it admirably.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – Pushed up higher before sliding in and creating space for a corner flick. When Germany was able to pull it off, Spain looked troubled.

CM: Joshua Kimmich – 7/10 – Disciplined performance, preserving his side’s structure and safeguarding his defenders. Kimmich is textbook material.

6/10 CM: Leon Goretzka In possession, he is perhaps the least important of the midfield three. Off the ball, he’s solid.

Serge Gnabry – 5/10 – RW Should’ve done better with a gift handed to him by Simon after 25 minutes. As the game continued, it faded.

CF: Thomas Muller – 5/10 – Picked up fantastic positions to shut off passing channels as usual but didn’t get involved in the attack sufficiently and lacked aggressiveness.

LW: Jamal Musiala – 7/10 – He looked well when he got the ball, retaining possession for his team, but he didn’t have enough of it until the replacements came on. When they arrived, they sprung into life and started to tug the strings.

Niclas Fullkrug (70′ substitution for Muller) – 8/10 – Unexpected hero. If Germany advances to the final 16, the 29-year-old’s international goal may be history.

SUB: Leroy Sane (70′ for Gundogan) – 6/10 – When introduced, he linked up brilliantly with Musiala. With the high stakes, it probably should’ve been a risk from the start.

Lucas Klostermann (70′ for Kehrer) comes in as a substitute. – N/A

SUB: Nico Schlotterbeck (87′ for Raum) – 6/10 – Excellent late challenge to deny Morata from scoring.

Hansi Flick, Manager – 6/10 To some degree, I got away with it. Germany performed admirably, but the need for an offensive boost from the bench was clear even before Flick called on his subs. They could have had three points on a night when they grabbed a point with more aggressive decision-making.

Niclas Fullkrug was named Player of the Match (Germany)