Germany’s win over Sweden hadn’t played out as Joachim Löw had planned, but the reigning champions got the job done thanks to Toni Kroos’ 95th minute winner.
Manuel Neuer – 8/10
The world’s best goalkeeper was back to his best. Two huge saves from Marcus Berg to keep the score at 1-0 in the first half and then a late one to deny John Guidetti a tap in. With Germany’s defence playing the way it is, Neuer will have to keep being at his brilliant best.
Joshua Kimmich – 5
Similarly, to the game against Mexico, Joshua Kimmich was often exposed on the right side of Germany’s defence. Attacking wise he was a constant outlet pass for the midfield but the lack of good final pass or cross wasted a lot of promising German attacks
Jerome Boateng – 2
The late red card summed up his performance, dreadful. Diving in at players in midfield with no protection behind him and shaky on the ball. Jerome Boateng was lucky not to give away a first half penalty for a certain foul on Berg and overall, he was lucky that his poor performance didn’t cost Germany more goals and ultimately the match.
Antonio Rüdiger – 5
Grew into the game after a shaky beginning. Perhaps could have come across quicker on Sweden’s goal and him and Boateng looked worried every time Sweden came forward. Much better in the second half and he made a few timely interceptions to stop Swedish counter attacks.
Jonas Hector – 6
Overall not a bad performance from Jonas Hector and a huge upgrade on Marvin Plattenhardt. One superb tackle denied Sweden a second goal that would have seen the end of Germany’s World Cup hopes. You’d like to see more quality from him in the final third but that’s true for all the Germany XI.
Sebastian Rudy – 4
Unfortunate to suffer a head injury in the first half before he could grow into the game. The confusion over his substitution may have played a role in the goal Germany conceded, not to the fault of Sebastian Rudy though.
Toni Kroos – 7
The late goal will make all the headlines and rightly so for multiple reasons. A very poor first half in which he lost the ball for Sweden’s goal and struggled to create anything going forward. Toni Kroos was much better in the second half, still not his usual imperial self but does it matter given he saved Germany with the sublime free kick.
Julian Draxler – 2
Anonymous in the first half after missing a big early chance and rightly yanked off at half time for Mario Gomez. The few times he was on the ball he struggled to make an impact and ruined more attacks than he created. Germany were much improved when Julian Draxler went off and now there’s big decision for Joachim Löw for the game against South Korea as to whether Draxler retains his place in the starting XI.
Marco Reus – 7
His first World Cup start and Marco Reus constantly looked like the man most likely to create something from Germany. His goal was a little lucky but it was deserved luck given his desire to make something happen when few around him had the same level of passion. If Germany are to go on and win this competition, then Reus will be a central figure in that.
Thomas Müller – 2
An enigma in the German team and tonight he yet again failed to produce anything. Questions must be asked about whether he deserves to start against South Korea, especially with Julian Brandt’s late cameo and Mesut Özil sitting on the bench. If he isn’t lurking in and around the six-yard box then he offers Germany very little.
Timo Werner – 6
Timo Werner came alive late and won the free kick that led to Kroos’ winner but still not the level of performance that Bundesliga fans have seen from Werner at RB Leipzig. He missed a great chance to give Germany the lead in the second half and too often was a peripheral figure in attack. Germany’s system doesn’t suit his strengths but his hold up play wasn’t up to scratch and when he’s not involved in the build-up then you need him to be finishing the chances others create and so far he’s failed to do that.
Mario Gomez – 6
Nearly the hero when his late header was superbly saved by Olsen in the Swedish goal. He links play better than Werner but still not at the level Germany need from their striker.
Ilkay Gündogan – 5
Neither a good nor a bad performance from Ilkay Gündogan who replaced Rudy midway through the first half. The ability he had at Borussia Dortmund to beat a player on the edge of the box and create a chance has gone on this display. He’s likely to start the next game against South Korea and is probably Germanys best option next to Kroos in midfield.
Julian Brandt – NA
Brought on in desperation and nearly made headlines when his late strike hit the post. He injected some urgency into Germany’s play but likely suits the role of impact sub rather than as a starter.
By Thomas Pain.