|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
In this weekly series, we look at the weekend performances of Germans around the globe.
Timo Werner (Chelsea)
Result: 0:2 W vs Newcastle United
Minutes played: 76’ Subbed Off
With a goal in each of his last two Premier League games, Werner would have been fancying his chances of getting on the scoresheet against a poor Newcastle side on Saturday. With a great chance after just 4’ minutes things looked to be heading in that direction, however the ex-Leipziger ended the evening without a goal to his name. Werner made up for his own shortcomings in front of goal though with a fantastic assist to Tammy Abraham in the 65’ minute. Driving the ball from the midfield line, Werner excellently paced past two Newcastle defenders, before slotting a ball into Abraham’s path for a simple finish.
After their Saturday win, Chelsea momentarily sat top of the pile in England, however Lampard’s side will have to make do with 3rd place heading into midweek European action.
*Kai Havertz once more missed Saturday’s Premier League fixture through a positive COVID-19 test
İlkay Gündoğan (Man. City)
Result: 2:0 L vs Tottenham
Minutes played: 0’
After an international break where Gündoğan played 225 minutes in less than a week, Guardiola chose to rest the German midfielder in City's crucial match against Spurs in the league. Guardiola’s side ultimately went on to lose 2:0, with Gündoğan not featuring. One would expect Gündoğan to return to Pep’s midfield when The Citizens travel to Greece midweek.
Bernd Leno (Arsenal)
Result: 0:0 vs Leeds United
Minutes played: 90’
An impressive display from the Ex Leverkusen shot-stopper on Sunday, keeping his side level with 4 saves. Bernd Leno and the frame of his goal were probably the best players for Arsenal on Sunday, particularly after Pepe got sent off for lashing out at a Leeds opponent minutes into the second half. With only 9 goals in the clubs opening 9 games there are clear question marks about Arsenal’s ability to take the game to the opposition. Defensively however, Leno once more showed his quality as a shot stopper, keeping his third cleansheet of the season.
Robin Koch (Leeds United)
Result: 0:0 vs Arsenal
Minutes played: 90’
Having conceded 8 goals in their last two Premier League games, Leeds United’s clean sheet over the weekend will give their defensive unit much-needed confidence heading into an away match versus high-flying Everton next Saturday. German Centerback Robin Koch played his part, however Arsenal rarely threatened the Leeds goal, registering only 2 shots on target all match.
Pascal Groß (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Result: 1:2 W vs Aston Villa
Minutes Played: 90+6’ Subbed off
After quality performances since being recalled to Graham Potter’s starting 11, Pascal Groß maintained his starting spot in Saturday’s fixture away to Aston Villa. In a back and forth game with 22 shots between the two sides, Brighton ultimately came out on top, picking up a crucial three points in their fight for survival. Groß once more proved an essential piece in The Seagull’s attacking game, assisting Solly March’s winner with a brilliant ball across the box. Groß now has 2 assists in his last 3 matches, becoming increasingly an undroppable presence for Potter.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Result: 1:1 D vs Villarreal
Minutes played: 90’
For Toni Kroos, a return to Madrid did not offer the necessary anonymity he likely needed after a disastrous performance on Tuesday. Following the poor outing with the national team, things haven't exactly turned around at his club side either, with Madrid again dropping points against Villarreal.
Kroos started well, playing a pinpoint long ball to Lucas Vasquez which was the catalyst to Madrid’s opener just 2’ minutes into the match. Playing in a considerably deeper role than normal with Casemiro not in the squad, Kroos’ defensive deficiencies were however in the spotlight, with the World Cup winner winning just 33% of his defensive duels, picking up a yellow card, and twice dribbled by.
Real Madrid will need their 30 year old Galactico to be at his best midweek, when Madrid travel to Italy for a must win fixture against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (F.C. Barcelona)
Result: 1:0 L vs Atletico Madrid
Minutes played: 90’
Following Germany’s 6:0 defeat at the hands of Spain on Tuesday, Ter-Stegen would have been hoping to take his opportunity on Saturday to stake a claim for the starting spot at Euro 2021. Yet the former Gladbach Keeper did quite the contrary, making a horrible mistake just before halftime. Ter-Stegen completely misread a high ball overtop of Barcelona’s defense, coming far too late to sweep away the danger. Carrasco ultimately left Ter-Stegen in the dust calmly putting the ball into Barca’s empty net.
Barcelona now sit in 12 place, definitely a poor start for manger Koeman, that has been extended through Ter-Stegen’s calamitous error.
Kevin Volland (AS Monaco)
Result: 3:2 W vs PSG
Minutes played: 90’
With 8 Ligue 1 wins in a row, 7 of which came without a goal conceded, PSG would have been fancying their chances when Tuchel’s side went comfortably into halftime 2:0 infront against Monaco. However a couple astute halftime changes from former Bayern manager Niko Kovac completely flipped the game on its head, with Monaco running out 3:2 winners. Particularly impressive in the second half resurgence was Kevin Volland, scoring the first two goals, and drawing a penalty in the 80th minute that Cesc Fabregas calmly slotted away.
Volland now has 4 goals and 1 assist in his last three games for Les Monégasques, helping the side jump up to 4th place after 11 matchdays.
*Both Thilo Kehrer & Julian Draxler (both PSG) missed this match through injury
Robin Gosens (Atalanta)
Result: 0:0 vs Spezia Calcio
Minutes played: 90’
Robert Gosens returned to Gasperini’s side on Saturday evening, making his first appearance in Serie A since sustaining a calf injury in mid October. Although the match ultimately ended in a 0:0 draw, Gosens made his attacking abilities known, even scoring a brilliant second half volley, before it was chalked off after a VAR check found Duvan Zapata offside in the build up.
Julian Chabot (Spezia Calcio)
Result: 0:0 vs Atalanta
Minutes Played: 75’ Subbed on
After 6 consecutive starts for newly promoted Spezia, Julian Chabot had to make due with an appearance off the bench, coming on for the final 15 minutes to make sure Spezia held on to a point against a strong Atalanta side. Chabot dutifully fulfilled his task, winning 100% of his tackles and not leaking a goal.
Jeremy Toljan (Sassuolo)
Result: 2:0 W vs Hellas Verona
Minutes played: 64’ Subbed off
Following a positive corona test that saw Toljan out of Roberto De Zerbi’s side for the last four match days, Toljan returned to right back this week, leaving a positive impression on his Italian manager. Sassuolo have proven to be one of the surprise packages in European football this season, with their win enabling them to momentarily go top of Serie A on Sunday. Toljan will be looking to continue at the form he showed before his untimely illness, with his performance on Sunday addressing any critics who thought he should remain out of the side.
Lucas Nmecha (RSC Anderlecht- Belgian Pro League)
Result: 2:1 L vs Beerschot
Minutes Played: 90'
It has been a difficult start to life as a manager for Vincent Kompany, who oversees RSC Anderlecht seated in 7th place in the Belgien topflight. One bright light for the longtime Manchester City captain has been Lukas Nmecha, the German U21 international who got on the scoresheet again this weekend. Nmecha’s second half strike takes his tally to 4 for the season.
Having failed to excel in various loan spells around Europe, Nmecha looks to finally be given a run of games at Anderlecht. With a contract at Manchester City expiring this summer, Nmecha will be looking to continue to make an impression in Belgium to either secure a new deal or find a club elsewhere in July.
Karim Adeyemi, Mergim Berisha (RB Salzburg- Austrian Bundesliga)
Result: 1:3 L vs Sturm Graz
Minutes Played: Adeyemi 57’ Subbed off, Berisha 90’
A poor outing for RB Salzburg heading into a midweek fixture against Bayern, with Jesse March’s side handed their first domestic defeat since March. Adeyemi provided little attacking impetus, with the 18-year-old German youth international subbed off after 57’ minutes without leaving his mark on the affairs.
Mergim Berisha was able to show a bit more of himself on Saturday, coming up with an impressive curled shot from outside the box to make the end result a little less embarrassing for the reigning Austrian champions. With two goals in his last two appearances in the Champions League, fans of German football should likely get to see the youngster start for Salzburg again midweek.
Lukas Rupp, Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City- English Championship)
Result: 0:1 W vs Middlesborough
Minutes Played: Rupp 90’, Stiepermann Subbed of 90+2’
Norwich City jumped to first in the Championship table over the weekend, with another impressive performance from The Canneries German unit giving Daniel Farke’s side a true shot at going right back up. After missing the last matchday against Swansea, Rupp returned to the Norwich midfield, winning all 6 of the tackles he attempted (the most of any player), and providing a constant outlet in possession with the second most touches of any player on the pitch.
Stiepermann wasn’t able to conjure up his best performance in green & yellow, leading the game with the most dispossessions, and unable to get on the scoresheet as he had done against Swansea last matchday. Nevertheless, the ex Dortmund midfielder continued to provide Daniel Farkewith the relentless workrate and endeavor that he requires in his midfielders, giving him a good platform to remain in the side when Norwich faces Stoke on Tuesday.
*Christoph Zimmermann & Mario Vrancic both came on for late cameos in 90+2’ and 90+4’ minutes
Marvin Schulz (FC Luzern - Swiss Super League)
Result: 1:1 vs Vaduz
Minutes Played: 90’
In his 6th appearance of the season for FC Luzern, Marvin Schulz put up an impressive performance, interpreting his role as a centerback in a particularly attacking way. Having picked up the ball in his own half, Schulz drove through much of the opponents defense, before a bobble in Vaduz’s penalty area gave the opportunity for the still attacking Schulz to head to an open teammate. The subsequent finish from Dejan Sorgic put Luzern ahead 31' minutes in.
After the halftime whistle though, much more was asked of the ex-Gladbacher defensively, with Luzern going down to 10 men after just 50 minutes. Schulz continued to command the backline, until a silly penalty given away by Martin Frydek allowed Vaduz to equalize minutes before the final whistle.
Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC- American MLS)
Result: 3:0 W vs Inter Miami
Minutes Played: 67’ Subbed off
After a crucial goal and assist off the bench for Nashville last weekend that kept their playoff hopes alive, Mukhtar once more came up big for The Music City Friday evening. In a win or go home match against the other MLS newcomers Inter Miami, Nashville SC came out 3:0 winners, booking their spot in the MLS playoffs that began this weekend. Mukhtar played a big part in the clubs historic moment, drawing contact with Inter Miami’s goalkeeper in the 21’ minute, and then cooly dispatching the spot kick himself to put Nashville 2:0 up.
Mukhtar and Nashville SC will have to travel to Toronto on Wednesday for their first ever playoff game, a tough encounter against the second placed side in the regular season.
If you enjoyed this weekend round up, follow Adam Khan on Twitter for more articles of a similar nature.