Timo Werner and Serge Gnabry were disappointing as Germany went down 1-0 to Hungary in the UEFA Nations League on Friday.

Hungary took the game to Germany in the early exchanges, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Daniel Gazdag looking dangerous in the final third. And the visitors broke the deadlock in the 17th minute through a moment of brilliance from captain Adam Szalai, whose nonchalant flick from Szoboszlai’s corner looped over Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Germany took control of the proceedings after that, rarely letting Hungary manage a shot on ter Stegen’s goal. But despite their dominance, the hosts lacked the cutting edge to trouble Peter Gulacsi, hardly ever forcing Hungary’s goalkeeper to make a big save in his home stadium at the club level.

Hungary came the closest to scoring in the remainder of the game, with Gazdag forcing ter Stegen into a smart save from close range. Germany did find the back of the net through Thomas Muller, only for the assistant referee to rule the goal out for offside.

But even though Germany improved as the minutes wore on, Hungary saw the game out to remain on top of the UEFA Nations League Group A3. And Italy’s win over England on Friday means Monday’s game at the Puskas Arena will decide the winner of the group, with Germany out of contention to reach the finals. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Hansi Flick’s men.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10

Marc-Andre ter Stegen deputised for Manuel Neuer in goal, with the Germany captain unavailable for the international break after testing positive for COVID-19. And the experienced goalkeeper did well to keep the hosts in the game by making a few sharp saves while not being at fault for conceding the brilliant strike by Adam Szalai.

Jonas Hofmann: 6/10

Hofmann endured a game of two halves. He was caught like a deer in headlights in the opening period while essaying the traditional right-back role but improved significantly after the break when Flick deployed him in a more advanced position. He looked dangerous in the final third and might be a first-choice starter at the World Cup as the right wing-back.

Niklas Sule: 7/10

Sule is probably the most consistent defender for Germany, and that showed on Friday, as he negated Adam Szalai’s threat for the most part. He won each of his seven contested duels while completing 95 per cent of his attempted passes to keep the hosts in control. He could not have done much else to tip the scales in his team’s favour.

Antonio Rudiger: 6/10

Rudiger worked hard to alleviate Hungary’s threat, completing crucial clearances (5) and tackles (4). At the same time, he built the play from the back efficiently, with 93 per cent of his attempted passes getting completed. He is crucial for Germany along with Niklas Sule.

David Raum: 7/10

Raum was one of the brightest players for Germany on Friday, pushing his team forward with purpose and playing a game-high four key passes. He also worked hard off the ball, winning seven duels while completing several crucial defensive interventions higher up the pitch. He seems to have nailed down the left-back spot.

Joshua Kimmich: 7/10

Kimmich was like a diesel engine on Friday as he took some time to warm up and get going. But he was the chief creator for Germany against Hungary once he got going, opening play nicely with several long balls. Kimmich also cut off Hungary’s threat with some crunching tackles (8) while winning ten duels.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6/10

Gundogan completed most of his attempted passes on the night but failed to push Germany forward at a quick tempo, as he so often does at the club level with Manchester City. The veteran midfielder will need to step up against England next week.

Serge Gnabry: 4/10

Gnabry saw plenty of the ball, but he was wasteful and careless in possession. The 27-year-old only managed a paltry 62 per cent pass completion rate while failing to muster a single shot. He will be looking over his shoulder heading into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Thomas Muller: 5/10

Muller donned the captain’s armband in Manuel Neuer’s absence due to COVID-19 but looked jaded for much of his outing. The veteran attacker seemed physically and mentally fluxed, as has been the case at the club level, and can do with a break. Germany will need him at his best at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but the signs right now are not positive.

Leroy Sane: 6/10

Sane was the brightest spark for Germany in the final third, but his creative output was sub-par. While he posed some threat with his movement, his end product would need some improvement in the coming games for him to become a pivotal figure for Germany.

Timo Werner: 4/10

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Werner hardly got going for Germany against Hungary, producing a listless performance where he was anonymous more often than not. The RB Leipzig striker managed just 14 touches while never putting Gulacsi under pressure.

SUBSTITUTES

Thilo Kehrer: 7/10

Germany looked indomitable at the back with Kehrer on the pitch, with Flick changing the system to a 3-4-3. Kehrer’s presence also liberated Hofmann, who expressed himself better going forward in the second half.

Jamal Musiala: 6/10

Musiala instantly turned up the tempo upon his introduction midway through the second half. But while the youngster was a bundle of energy, he could not create a clear-cut opportunity for his teammates, which pegs his rating back slightly.

Kai Havertz: 6/10

Havertz replaced Werner with 20 minutes left in regulation time, and his movement caused some problems for Hungary. But he struggled to get into scoring positions and needs to better in the final third.

Lukas Nmecha: N/A

Nmecha did not even touch the ball even once in his 11-minute cameo.

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