Germany coach Joachim Low deemed himself satisfied after his side opened their Euro 2016 Group C campaign with a 2-0 win over the Ukraine.
Shkodran Mustafi’s 19th-minute header and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s stoppage-time breakaway ensured Germany got off to a winning start at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.
Yet Germany did not have things all their own way and Group C rivals Poland and Northern Ireland will have been heartened by some of their defending, particularly from set-pieces.
They were certainly grateful to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for some fine first-half saves and a spectacular goal-line clearance from Jerome Boateng.
Low told Uefa.com: “It was an intense and fast-paced game. In the first half we had a few problems going forward, losing the ball and giving them the chance to counter but in the second half we did very well, keeping our shape and moving the ball about well. ”
“We dominated – it wasn’t easy against a good Ukrainian defence but we found solutions and overall I’m very satisfied.
“Ukraine were very good from set pieces – they really whipped them into the box and put men forward. We defended better in the second half and Bastian Schweinsteiger was delighted to make such a great comeback after so many weeks slogging to get back to fitness.
“The Poland game is going to be decisive as both teams have won and the result of that one will shape how the group finishes.
“Obviously we have a lot of players out injured but I think the players who did play did a very good job. We were always able to transition from defence into attack.”
For some reason, Low opted to discuss neither of the following incidents…
Dirty b*stard. pic.twitter.com/P2ZaHt3s07
— Free Bets (@freebetscouk) June 12, 2016