Three goals in eight second-half minutes provided Werder Bremen with a comfortable aggregate victory against FC Basel 1893 in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round encounter, but the outcome somewhat flattered Thomas Schaaf's side.
Until the opening goal Basel, 2-1 winners from the first leg, had protected Pascal Zuberbühler's goal with some ease, but a fortuitous deflection unhinged their defence after 63 minutes. A clearance from the Basel defence hit Patrick Owomoyela on the chest and, as the ball bounced into the penalty area, the outrushing Zuberbühler missed it, as did retreating team-mate Boris Smiljanic and Bremen's Miroslav Klose. But Bremen striker Ivan Klasnić was quickest to react and he tapped the ball into the empty net from close range.
Basel found themselves further in arrears moments later when Johan Micoud was fouled in the penalty area by Reto Zanni. Micoud, who earlier missed a first-half penalty, passed the spot-kick duties to Tim Borowski, and he made no mistake, slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of Zuberbühler's net. The home side then guaranteed their spot in Thursday's draw with Klasnić's second goal after 72 minutes. The striker latched on to Daniel Jensen's perfectly-weighted pass to send a left-footed strike in off the post beyond Zuberbühler from 15 metres.
The result had seemed unlikely after a positive first-half display from the Swiss champions, who went close through Julio Rossi's 12th-minute header. Bremen were clearly struggling to find a way through Basel's well-organised defence, but Torsten Frings looked to have provided them with the ideal opportunity after 41 minutes when he tumbled under Zanni's challenge and won a penalty. But Micoud, although sending Zuberbühler the wrong way, missed the target with the resulting spot-kick.
The interval failed to provide any visible change to Bremen's performance during the opening exchanges of the second period and again Basel came closest to breaking the deadlock when Matias Delgado clipped the top of Reinke's crossbar from a 62nd-minute free-kick. Moments later, Bremen took their chance and with it came their berth in this season's group stage, while Basel turn their attentions to the UEFA Cup first round.
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.