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Werner, Havertz goals, assists not enough to overcome Rüdiger’s epic bad day for Germany

Oh no, Toni

It’s not been a great start to the new season for Antonio Rüdiger. After three years of being a first-choice center back at Chelsea, he’s suddenly dropped to the bottom of the pecking order, playing zero minutes so far and making the bench just once, on opening day. And despite being deemed surplus to requirements as the fifth-choice, he opted against leaving before the end of the transfer window, rejecting offers from West Ham and Tottenham while neither AS Roma nor PSG stepped forward.

The international break was seen as a welcome chance and a welcome change of pace, but even with Germay head coach Jogi Löw’s support, Rüdiger had himself a bit of a nightmare last night, as Die Mannschaft drew 3-3 with Switzerland — Rüdiger playing a big role in all three goals conceded.

Just five minutes in, his lack of awareness in the second phase of a set piece left Mario Gavranović open to loop a header over Manuel Neuer. Not much later, he made a mess of the offside line, but had a chance to redeem himself and clear off the line, only to completely mistime and misjudge a fairly straightforward header and give Switzerland a 2-0 lead.

Rüdiger completed his hat-trick of misery by completely giving up on a play just a minute after Germany had brought it back to 2-2, with Gavranović again on target.

As sour cherry on top of a rotten cake, Rüdiger also elbowed Nico Elvedi in the face in the 94th minute, for which he may yet see retrospective action from UEFA.

In better news from both a German and a Chelsea perspective, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were both excellent, both collecting a goal and an assist, with Kai setting up Timo for Germany’s opener, Kai himself scoring Germany’s second, and Timo collecting the assist on Serge Gnabry’s goal to make it 3-3.

Havertz especially was impressive, making the game look ever easy. Also, afterwards, he told the media that the team must defend better, like “grown-ups”, which is amusing on its own, but especially coming from a 21-year-old.

The draw leaves Germany with just 6 points from four games in the Nations League, though just one point behind Group A4 leaders Spain, who managed to lose 1-0 to Ukraine. David De Gea started over Kepa in goal.

Much later in the day, Brazil beat Peru 4-2, with Neymar’s hat-trick vaulting him into second place on the Seleção’s all-time scoring list, now two ahead of Ronaldo. He needs 13 more to reach Pelé’s mark of 77, which shouldn’t be that hard considering that Neymar is still just 28. And speaking of records, Thiago Silva, who played the full match for his 91st cap, is now just 6 behind Ronaldinho for tenth on the all-time appearances list.

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