Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf will be using his 'phone a friend' lifeline as the German side attempt to win a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Matchday 6.
Bremen prop up Group C following last night's 3-1 loss at FC Barcelona, yet still retain hope of following the Catalans into the knockout stages. In order to do so, they will have to defeat Panathinaikos FC at home and hope second-placed Udinese Calcio fail to take a point when the Barcelona bandwagon rolls into north-east Italy in two weeks' time.
"I will phone Frank Rijkaard the night before the game to tell him what team to choose," said Schaaf. Yet the Bremen coach knows his Dutch opposite number has an embarrassment of riches to chose from, with the Barcelona side which triumphed so comfortably at Camp Nou last night showing four changes to that which left Real Madrid CF with a dazzling 3-0 success only three days earlier.
Two of the players coming in with a point to prove, Gabri García and Henrik Larsson, opened and closed the scoring with the peerless Ronaldinho firing in Barça's second after Tim Borowski had levelled from the penalty spot. "Congratulations to Barcelona, they are a top-class team," added Schaaf. "The speed of their game is excellent and they are now scoring the chances that they were missing at the start of the season. They played how we expected but Ronaldinho makes the difference."
Rijkaard was also impressed by what he deemed a "top performance" as his side clinched top spot in the pool. "The match was a pleasure to watch and I thought it was a good performance against a very difficult team," he said. "As for the next match, we will always look to win against whatever team we play against. Every player is proud to wear the shirt and they try to please the crowd with their best performance."
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