By Nik Brumsack in Stuttgart

Per Mertesacker has praised Chile after Germany's hard-fought 1-0 victory in Stuttgart on Wednesday night.

The Arsenal defender and fellow Gunner Mesut Ozil, who assisted Mario Goetze's first-half winner, both started the friendly at Mercedes-Benz Arena, with Lukas Podolski a late substitute.

Chile were perhaps unfortunate to lose a game in which their enterprising style caused problems throughout. Mertesacker was impressed with Jorge Sampaoli's side - with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez drawing particular praise.

It was intense from the first minute and Chile played well over the 90 minutes. I think they are the toughest opponent we have played so far

"You cannot catch him - it's unbelievable how quick and how good with his feet he is," Mertesacker told Arsenal.com. "If you get one against one with him, it's nearly impossible. We have to get together and be stronger as a team to play against Chile. I think there's a lot to do. We like to win and that's what is important at the end."

"That was a really tough game for everyone today, especially in the first half. It was intense from the first minute and Chile played well over the 90 minutes. I think they are the toughest opponent we have played so far.

"I think we have a strong squad but not everyone is fit at the moment. It's really vital that we get together and that everyone is fit and aware of the situation when we meet up because we can get such opponents [like Chile] in the summer."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 6 Mar 2014