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Löw: Gomez gives Germany something different

Germany coach Joachim Löw explained his selection of goalscorer Mario Gomez, while Michael O'Neill praised Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern and their fans.

EURO 2016 highlights: Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany
EURO 2016 highlights: Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany

Joachim Löw, Germany coach 
Mario Gomez scored the [winning] goal, which confirmed what we'd seen in training during the week. It was good to try a different type of player up front: a real nine instead of a 'false' nine. He likes to stay in the centre and that was important because they kept it compact and it gave them something to think about, freeing up people like Thomas Müller to get on the end of a couple of chances.

Joshua Kimmich did really well on the right. He made some good runs, put some crosses in and never really looked nervous. He's a very clever lad and looked good in the air too, so I was very happy with his performance.

I'm not worried about Thomas Müller not scoring. If he'd not had any chances I'd be more worried, but he had three or four really good ones and that shows that we're doing well. He was close tonight and I'm sure he'll score in the next match.

Mesut Özil, Germany midfielder and man of the match
We wanted to score more goals today. We created a lot of chances which was a positive, and that wasn't the case against Poland [on matchday two]. We completely dominated the game and did the important bit in getting the three points. The level at this tournament is very high. The best international teams are facing one another and that reflects in how close the scorelines have been.

Hummels not completely satisfied
Hummels not completely satisfied

Mario Gomez, Germany forward
I was hoping that we would win by a bigger margin. I just saw the table and [this win] was enough for first place. We did well to create so many clear-cut chances.

It was a clear victory, really, because they didn't create any chances, but we had issues taking opportunities of our own. But we're top of the group and have an important match ahead of us.

I put myself up against two strong defenders and tried to tie them up. That was my task today and it was very difficult because they were two big lumps! I needed about 15 or 20 minutes to get into the match; my last game was in the middle of May, so it was a bit difficult.

Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland coach
The fans are magnificent, the songs are magnificent and hopefully they'll be singing at the weekend too.

Hopefully we're not going home. I don't think the fans are going home any time soon either way. We wanted to guarantee a place in the last 16 but you're never going to play the world champions and not have that kind of night.

It was very difficult for us but we hung in there and defended great. [Northern Ireland goalkeeper] Michael McGovern had a fantastic night and [hopefully] we have the opportunity now to play in the knockout stages.

The players will take an awful lot from the performance. We don't have any players in our squad that have played any European football, so when they step up the experience of playing against the level of opponents we have today can only help us.

Nobody sets up their team to just defend but you look at the Germany team and you see Bayern, Real Madrid and so on. It's not in my nature to set the team up to lose 7-0. But we earned the right to be here and we'll have earned the right to be in the last 16 if we make it that far. I'm immensely proud that we are even playing here against the world champions in Paris.

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

Michael McGovern, Northern Ireland goalkeeper
Only time will tell if [the result] is good enough to get us through the group, but we're immensely proud.

It was busy today. Mentally it was very tough; we were under a lot of pressure and even when they scored we knew every goal was crucial in terms of goal difference. We wanted to keep it at one and maybe even nick a late equaliser, but it wasn't to be.

[Germany] have had a bit of a slow start but they were excellent today. We couldn't really get out [of our half] but we worked hard and hopefully it's enough to get through.