Philipp Lahm said Germany can still improve, despite cruising into the semi-finals with a 4-2 defeat of Greece, while Sami Khedira was upbeat about their last-four prospects.
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Germany captain Philipp Lahm lamented the fact Germany had "made life unnecessarily difficult" for themselves, despite easing through to the semi-finals with a 4-2 defeat of Greece. The FC Bayern München defender also warned his team they could scarcely afford to commit the errors which allowed Greece back into the game come next Thursday's last-four encounter with either England or Italy.
Philipp Lahm, Germany defender
We struggled, which we shouldn't have done. During the first 10-15 minutes, we had many opportunities to take the lead against a very defensive-minded Greece team. If you don't score in that time, things start to get difficult. We scored the first goal in the match, and then they scored, partly because we played too carelessly, and at some points also too slowly. We made some mistakes. We definitely have to avoid doing that in the semi-finals. We can be proud of having scored four goals today, and of reaching in the semi-finals.
We focused on creating chances all the time and Miro [Klose] did that very often. I think we managed to do it very well at the beginning, but then they improved defensively and in such situations, it is not easy to create chances to score. We did a good job. Of course, you have to take the lead a bit earlier. If you take the lead, you immediately have to keep going in the same way.
To be honest, I would love to score more often, but I am not the most dangerous player, I have to admit that. I am happy that I managed to score the first goal but I still think we made life unnecessarily difficult for ourselves.
Marco Reus, Germany forward
I'm glad we won the game and I'm also happy that I scored a goal. I think we dominated the match for 90 minutes, though we conceded an unnecessary equaliser. However, we contined to go forward, and tried to create chances. We were the better team, and Sami [Khedira] took on what was a very difficult volley to make it 2-1. After that, at 3-1, it was all over. I don't want to talk about who we might face, I'm simply glad we won, and we have to recover before the semi-final.
Sami Khedira, Germany midfielder
We are very happy about our win, but after half-time we made life very difficult for ourselves. However, after the equaliser, we kept our tempo high and deserved to win, even if it could have been easier. There was a lot of movement, we had many chances and we played a really good game.
The next game, whether it be against England or Italy, won't be easy, but if we're able to play to our full potential, we'll be very hard to beat.
Miroslav Klose, Germany forward
It was difficult. We expected the opposing team to be very compact, and they sometimes even employed a defensive line of five players but we can be very satisfied. We were able to achieve what we wanted to do, we played with quick combinations and created a lot of attempts on goal. We did a good job today. I am very happy. I scored a goal, and the team played so well. My family was here today, and that's why I am very happy.
Both [potential semi-final opponents] are very good. We played England in 2010, and faced Italy in Dortmund; they are also a great team. We will see what comes next. We are pretty relaxed, and we are looking forward to playing whoever we have to face in the next round.
Jérôme Boateng, Germany defender
It was a very exciting game. In the first half, we wasted a lot of chances, but then we scored the first goal, which was well-deserved. After the break, we conceded a sloppy goal, but we upped the tempo a little and deserved to win.
[The semi-final] is going to be an interesting match. Both teams will have their qualities, and I think both teams won't want to make the first mistake. It will be a thrilling game.