Dortmund - Just in case they hadn't already done so, Borussia Dortmund banished any lingering memories of last season's dreadful UEFA Champions League campaign by clinching a 1-0 win over English champions Manchester City. It was their third consecutive home win in the competition, which maintained BVB's unbeaten record in the this season's group stages.

"For us it's just fantastic to see how well we can also perform against the best teams in the world," stated German international after the Bundesliga titleholders clinched a unique treble having beaten their counterparts from England, Spain and Holland in the 'Group of Champions'. Talking in the mixed zone after the encounter, the 23-year-old discussed Dortmund's form in the group stages, his preferred opponent in the next round and BVB's status as the dark horses of the competition.

Question: Mats Hummels, the 1-0 win against Manchester City saw Dortmund finish the group stage with 14 points to their name. Has that sent out a clear signal of intent to the rest of Europe?

Mats Hummels: I don't know if it's a signal to the rest of Europe, but for us it's just fantastic to see how well we can also perform against the best teams in the world. Our displays in the Champions League have shown we can now count ourselves amongst those sides.

Question: How does it feel for you?

Hummels: Absolutely incredible! We've exceeded even our own expectations with the amount of points we've collected and have set down a real marker as a result. In terms of our style of play though, it was exactly as we had imagined it for the most part. However, what we've achieved hasn't brought us anything yet. If we get knocked out in the next round then it will all be for nothing, but we've definitely demonstrated now that we're playing with a certain maturity internationally. And in the past few years that was why a lot of people wrote us off.

Question: What's your assessment of the narrow, but special win against Manchester City?

Hummels: We put in a superb performance against a top-class team. We created several chances for ourselves and were able to truly inspire our fans once again. That hasn't happened in the past few Bundesliga home matches against Fürth and Düsseldorf, or even against Stuttgart and Schalke before that. But to execute this performance and clinch this win against Manchester City with a starting line-up that had never played together is a wonderful thing. Together with the encounter in Manchester this was, for me, our best game in the group stages. Even better than the two matches against Real Madrid.

Question: You mentioned the numerous changes in the first eleven, but it hardly led to a step back in quality.

Hummels: I think you could see that we had very few problems. We're aware that all the players in our squad have a real quality about them. For example, Oliver Kirch made his Champions League debut against Manchester tonight. He was maybe a little nervous in the first few minutes. Then in the 70th minute he nutmegged his opponent out on the flank. That's an amazing transformation.

Question: BVB were incredibly confident in dispatching Manchester City. Did you get the impression that the English champions couldn't play better? Or was it that they didn't want to?

Hummels: They were quick to take their goal kicks and they often hassled the referee about time wasting - those aren't things you do when you've given up on the game before it starts. Instead, I prefer to view it as us giving very little away in the opening exchanges and, from our side, after a good quarter of an hour we played with a lot of self-belief and quality going forward.

Question: The draw for the Round of 16 takes place on 20th December. Is there a club you'd prefer to face in the next round? Are you, like Kevin Großkreutz, hoping to draw Celtic if the Scottish side manage to qualify on Wednesday?

Hummels: I don't personally have a preferred opponent, but when you see the atmosphere that was created in the match between Celtic and Barcelona, then it's reminiscent of our own stadium. As a result a match there could be twice as fun.

Question: What are your thoughts on people considering Dortmund as the dark horses to win the Champions League title?

Hummels: Throwing us into the pot as one of the favourites now is not quite right and we're not thinking about things like the final or even the title. After all, we've booked our place in an international knockout round for the first time in what feels like 100 years. That's what we're focusing on and it's there that we want to get the maximum return.

Interview compiled by Dietmar Nolte