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Winners & Losers

Super subs save Southgate and Maguire! England winners, losers and ratings from Germany thriller

3:08 AM IST 27/09/22
England Germany WLR Nations League 2022
Gareth Southgate's substitutes saved him as England came from two down to eventually draw with Germany.

A Nick Pope error gifted Germany a late equaliser as England ended their Nations League campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Wembley on Monday night.

After Friday's drab 1-0 defeat in Italy, things looked to be going from bad to worse for under-fire manager Southgate as Germany moved into a 2-0 lead midway through the second half through a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan and a Kai Havertz stunner.

But a stirring fightback from England, which was sparked by substitutes Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount, saw the hosts score three times in 12 remarkable minutes to turn the game on its head.

Saka had a hand in all three goals, with Luke Shaw scoring the first. Mount then swept in a stunning second to make it 2-2 before Harry Kane struck from the penalty spot to give England the lead with just seven minutes remaining.

It looked like Southgate's side were going to get a morale-boosting victory, only for Pope to spill Serge Gnabry's shot from distance on 87 minutes, allowing Havertz to poke home a late leveller.

England's run without a victory has now stretched to six games, but the way they fought back from 2-0 down would have at least lifted spirits ahead of the World Cup, which gets underway in just two months' time.

  • Bukayo Saka Mason Mount

    The Winners

    Winner: Jude Bellingham

    England's best player, just as he was against Italy.

    When everyone else looked out on their feet, he was the player who stood up and got the team going again.

    If there was any doubt before these two games over whether Bellingham should start at the World Cup, then there can't be any more.

    It's frightening how good he is at the age of just 19 and it's not just his quality on the ball that is impressive, it's the leadership qualities he demonstrates.

    The Borussia Dortmund star has cemented his starting spot in Qatar.

    Winner: Bukayo Saka

    Isn't it strange how well players can perform when they are played in their proper positions?

    Saka struggled against Italy on Friday night, but it was no surprise given he was asked to operate as a left wing-back.

    But as soon as he was introduced against Germany on the right wing he turned the game on its head.

    He was direct, positive and looked to take players on. Everything we see from him in an Arsenal shirt each week.

    Saka was involved in all three goals and showed why he must be starting in Qatar when the World Cup gets underway.

    Winner: Mason Mount

    It's not been an easy start to the season for Mount at Chelsea.

    He's played eight times in all competitions without scoring for his club and has come in for a fair bit of criticism for his performances.

    So coming off the bench and scoring such a good goal to make it 2-2 was a huge moment for Mount, who would have known the pressure he was under going into the game.

  • Nick Pope Harry Maguire

    The Losers

    Loser: Harry Maguire and Gareth Southgate

    I'm going to include these two as a pair, because it's tough to separate them when assessing the situation.

    Yes, Maguire was to blame for the penalty. His initial pass to give the ball away was sloppy and then the challenge which gave away the spot kick was shambolic.

    But the fact is he shouldn't have been on the pitch in the first place to give away the foul.

    Maguire had actually played relatively well up to that point, but the fact he has played so little football this season always leaves him open to doing something sloppy like that.

    Southgate is doing him no favours by picking him. The Manchester United man shouldn't even be in the squad, let alone the starting XI.

    Maguire may have done very well for Southgate in the past, but you can only pick a player on past performances for so long.

    Southgate set himself up for a fall with his team selection and he has no-one to blame but himself for what happened.

    Loser: John Stones

    The Manchester City defender lasted just 37 minutes before he was replaced by Kyle Walker with what looked like a hamstring injury.

    Obviously it will take a few days before the true extent of the injury is known, but you would think that Stones will now be missing for at least the next three weeks.

    That will be a major blow to both him and Pep Guardiola, with Manchester City heading into a crucial run of fixtures in the Premier League and Champions League.

    Southgate will also be nervously looking on and will be hoping to see his centre-back return sooner rather than later.

    Loser: Aaron Ramsdale

    The fact Gareth Southgate has picked Nick Pope in both of these two Nation League games suggests he is very much second in line behind Jordan Pickford now.

    Most thought Aaron Ramsdale would start against Germany having sat out the game against Italy, but the Arsenal man was once again on the bench.

    It seemed an odd decision by Southgate, especially as Pope struggles to play out with the ball at his feet - something that the England boss demands from his keeper.

    But the fact the Newcastle man still got the nod over Ramsdale tells its own story in terms of where the Arsenal keeper clearly is in the England pecking order.

    Watching Pope struggle all night would have made things even more frustrating for Ramsdale.

  • Nick Pope England Germany Nations League 2022

    England Ratings: Defence

    Nick Pope (3/10):

    Looked shaky all evening whenever he had the ball at his feet. Horrible error for Germany's third goal.

    Jon Stones (6/10):

    Injured early on. Had started the game well.

    Eric Dier (5/10):

    Nervy in possession, but fairly solid otherwise.

    Harry Maguire (4/10):

    Awful moment for Germany's opening goal. Had looked OK up to that point. Gave away possession in the build-up to the second goal as well.

  • Jude Bellingham England Germany Nations League 2022

    Midfield

    Reece James (6/10):

    Unable to make much of an impact but did get an assist.

    Declan Rice (6/10):

    Nothing spectacular, but kept the ball moving.

    Jude Bellingham (8/10):

    England's best player again. Always looked to make something happen.

    Luke Shaw (7/10):

    Great pass to set up a chance for Sterling in the first half. Scored in the second.

  • Harry Kane England Germany Nations League

    Attack

    Phil Foden (5/10):

    Unable to really influence things.

    Harry Kane (6/10):

    Quiet game for the skipper. Scored a fabulous penalty.

    Raheem Sterling (6/10):

    Stretched Germany at times with his pace. Should have scored in the first half.

  • Gareth Southgate England

    Subs & Manager

    Kyle Walker (6/10):

    Did his job well after replacing Stones.

    Bukayo Saka (8/10):

    What an impact. Had a hand in all three goals and was so close to scoring the winner.

    Mason Mount (7/10):

    Stunning finish to make it 2-2.

    Jordan Hendrson (N/A):

    Only introduced for the final couple of minutes due to Bellingham's injury.

    Gareth Southgate (4/10):

    Stupid decision to stick with Maguire and an equally bizarre call to go with Pope over Ramsdale. Saved by his subs.