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Germany getting there game by game

Germany reporter Steffen Potter notes how, while Joachim Löw still has plenty to ponder, his problems are moving further up the pitch.

Germany getting there game by game
Germany getting there game by game ©Panoramic

Chances created and squandered
The focus of criticism has changed after each of Germany's group matches at UEFA EURO 2016. After the opening win against Ukraine, defensive frailties were the topic of discussion. 

Following the goalless draw with Poland, it was a lack of chances. After Tuesday night's 1-0 win against Northern Ireland, the worry was how few of the many chances they created were converted.

Müller's EURO duck
Three games into the tournament, Thomas Müller is yet to find the target. Arguably his best chance yet to stop the rot came against Northern Ireland, with four glorious opportunities falling the Bayern man's way. "I'm not worried by it," said coach Löw afterwards. "At least he's getting the opportunities - that's a good sign."

Hummels not completely satisfied
Hummels not completely satisfied

Gomez another option
Right place, right time – that's the story of so many of Mario Gomez's goals throughout his prolific club career. But it would be unfair to say the same of his game-winner against Northern Ireland.

It was Gomez who initated the move, a tidy interchange with Müller cultimating in a difficult finish with Gareth McAuley doing his best to intervene. Aside from his goal, Gomez got praise for his intelligent running, providing the midfielders with a pass in behind the defence, something they lacked so evidently against Poland. 

Kimmich makes his mark
Joshua Kimmich's major tournament debut was one of the major plus points for Germany. He could have had three assists - had his team-mates in attack been a touch more ruthless.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Kimmich was moulded into a central defender by Pep Guardiola at Bayern and showed incredible maturity having been thrust into another new position against Northern ireland, right-back. "He didn't seem nervous at all," said Löw. "In fact he was full of confidence."

So how strong are Germany?
It's difficult to gauge the reigning world champions at present. As great as Northern Ireland's fans were, their team rarely, if ever, troubled the Germany defence. The round of 16 tie will give further indication as to how this team is developing but it could be the quarters before we get a true impression of the three-time winners.

McGovern: My 'best' performance ever
McGovern: My 'best' performance ever