Football: Bremen Shock Inter To Secure UEFA Cup Berth
Posted December 10, 2008on:
BREMEN, Germany : Werder Bremen booked their place in the UEFA Cup as they bowed out of the Champions League with a shock 2-1 win over Inter Milan – their first in the competition this season – here on Tuesday.
Second-half goals by ex-Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro and Markus Rosenberg put Bremen into a 2-0 lead before Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic drilled home a top-class consolation goal from 20 metres out for Milan with time running out.
Having failed to win a single Group B game all season, Bremen were only playing to avoid last place while Milan are safely into the next round and were vying for top spot.
With group rivals Panathiaikos beating Anorthosis Famagusta 1-0 in Athens to secure their place at the top of the table, Bremen finish in third place and in the UEFA Cup, leaving Cypriot side Anorthosis bottom of the table.
Bremen made a bright start from the whistle and took the game to their star-studded opponents.
Germany midfielder Torsten Frings – whose omission from October’s World Cup qualifiers sparked captain Michael Ballack’s public spat with national coach Joachim Loew – picked up early booking for bringing down Inter striker Ricardo Quaresma inside the first 30 minutes.
Frings’ yellow card means he will miss Bremen’s next European game.
Despite creating a string of chances, Werder could not break down the Milan defence with Pizarro trying every trick up his sleeve.
It was Germany Under-21 midfielder Mesut Oezil who finally forced the break through when his shot was blocked by Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar, but Peru’s Pizarro pounced on the rebound to give Bremen a 63rd minute lead.
The goal injected plenty of life into the Bremen attack and Aaron Hunt went close with less than 15 minutes remaining.
With nine minutes left, Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg put the result beyond doubt with a second goal.
Cesar’s clearance kick reached the halfway line but was headed up to Oezil who sprinted down the wing and tucked a cross back into the Swede’s path which he buried in the back of the Milan net.
Milan’s flamboyant coach Jose Mourinho was looking anything but special as he scowled next to the Inter bench.
With time running out second-half substitute Ibrahimovic took the ball on his right foot and slammed his shot past Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese which hit both posts on its way into the back of the net.
– AFP /ls
Channel News Asia