FC Twente took their time but forward Nacer Chadli told UEFA.com the Dutch champions were always confident they could unlock the SV Werder Bremen defence to record their first UEFA Champions League win in Group A.
After both teams had struck the woodwork and seen their respective goalkeepers stretched, Chadli was the man who finally found a way past Bremen's Sebastian Mielitz nine minutes from time to end the hosts' eight-match unbeaten run at the Weserstadion in UEFA competition.
Although they had the ball more than we did, we were the more dangerous side and created the better chances," said the 22-year-old Chadli, whose intuitive flick sparked the move that led to Luuk de Jong heading Twente's second goal three minutes after the opener. "We knew we would find a solution because they left us a lot of space. I had a good chance and hit the post – the next opportunity was the good one."
Twente were also indebted to goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov for a clutch of high-quality saves, as well as to some wasteful finishing from Werder, who rattled the upright before half-time through Claudio Pizarro. The German club's ambitions of recording their first victory took a serious blow when captain Torsten Frings was sent off 15 minutes from time, an incident Chadli admitted had tipped the balance in Twente’s favour.
"After the red card, it was easier for us to keep the ball as we had the extra man," said the Belgian, who was also pleased with the resilience his team showed in keeping a first clean sheet of the group stage. "We had a lot of injuries and it wasn't easy for us. They had the ball a lot, but we stayed compact and managed to close down the spaces. When we got the ball, we counterattacked quickly and they had trouble coping."
While the defeat kept Bremen marooned at the bottom of the group, five points off the top two, Twente now lurk just two points behind the leaders with two games left. With one defeat in 18 competitive fixtures this season, the Eredivisie pacesetters are understandably bullish ahead of their next outing against European champions Inter.
"We're going to the San Siro with the intention of not losing. It's certainly not going to be easy but we don't have anything to lose," said Chadli. "We know they're going to have a lot of possession, but if we can play on the counterattack as we did today then that would be ideal."
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