Munich - FC Bayern München midfielder believes "it's definitely good that we've qualified early," after scoring the second goal in his side's 2-0 win over AS Roma on Wednesday evening to help Pep Guardiola's charges reach the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with two games to spare.
The 22-year-old continued his rich vein of form by hitting his ninth competitive goal this season in the 64th minute to ensure victory over a dogged visiting team and guarantee the Bavarians top spot in Group E.
Götze: 'We can be relatively happy'
"It's a very difficult group and I think we've done it relatively well in the games we've had so far," the 2014 FIFA World Cup hero said with heavy understatement. "We've picked up the 12 points we wanted to pick up - that's as good as it gets. I think we can be relatively happy. We had a bit of trouble breaking them down and it was a different game to the one in Rome where we had a lot of space. They lined up differently here and it wasn't easy for us."
Roma had certainly learned their lessons from that thrashing on home soil and decided not to attempt to go toe-to-toe with Bayern again, preferring instead to sit back and hope for the odd chance with a long ball forward on the counterattack. Bayern were never seriously troubled though - apart from a late strike from Radja Nainggolan that Manuel Neuer did well to save. Once Franck Ribery broke the guests' resistance with a well-taken effort shortly before half-time there was never any doubt about the result.
"It's good that we're in the next round," Götze continued. "Especially coming from the group we've got, so we can take a degree of pride from that." Ribery agreed: "Roma played well at the back - they were very defensive. They had a six-man backline at times but it's good we won." Yet Bayern wouldn't be Bayern if they basked in victory for too long, and thoughts swiftly turned to their upcoming Matchday 11 encounter away to Eintracht Frankfurt. "Now we have to keep going as hard as we can in the Bundesliga," Ribery said. "We're only four points ahead. We've got a very important game in Frankfurt on Saturday which we have to win." Ominously for the rest of the league, now that the Bundesliga pacesetters' Champions League qualification is already assured and with no DFB Cup fixtures until March next year, they will be concentrating more intently than ever on maintaining their domestic superiority. Jonathan Stockitt reporting from Munich