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Late comeback lifts Bremen belief

Published: Thursday 23 February 2006, 19.05CET
Werder Bremen were all smiles after coming from behind to accomplish a memorable UEFA Champions League victory against Juventus.
by Richard Aikman
from Bremen features

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Published: Thursday 23 February 2006, 19.05CET

Late comeback lifts Bremen belief

Werder Bremen were all smiles after coming from behind to accomplish a memorable UEFA Champions League victory against Juventus.

Werder Bremen were all smiles after coming from behind to accomplish a memorable victory against Juventus last night. The game seemed lost with three minutes to go before the German side mustered two last-gasp goals to take a 3-2 lead to Turin on 7 March. Despite leaving it late, it was no less than Thomas Schaaf's men deserved.

Schulz special
Christian Schulz, who gave Bremen the first-half advantage, was delighted to score his first UEFA Champions League goal after some persistent play and felt it was his team's just reward for 39 minutes of almost total domination. "It was a special feeling to score," he said. "I certainly wasn't expecting the ball to come back to me a second time but when it went in, I was overjoyed. It was great for me but it was even better for the team, as it gave us a foothold we deserved."

Strong character
Schulz's fellow defender Frank Fahrenhorst also came close to scoring and can count himself unlucky not to have beaten Gianluigi Buffon on two occasions. He proved a thorn in the Bianconeri's side from set-pieces and praised his team-mates for their like-minded determination in adversity. "We were disappointed up until the 85th minute or so because they had only three chances and were 2-1 up. But our team spirit is strong and we showed we do not give up easily. We keep going until the bitter end and we proved that against a great side tonight."

Confident Frings
Torsten Frings set up numerous openings for Bremen, including the last two goals, which resulted from his teasing crosses from the right. The midfielder was probably Bremen's most influential player and felt the late comeback was merited, while urging caution ahead of the return leg. "Tonight we were better than Juventus," he said. "We had a lot of chances which made their goals all the more frustrating. The win will give us a great deal of confidence, but we know it won't be easy in Turin."

Klose study
Although he failed to score, Bremen were delighted to welcome back talismanic striker Miroslav Klose, who managed three shots on goal and caused Juventus plenty of problems with his strength and aerial ability. Klose said the result had given Bremen both confidence and invaluable experience at the highest level. "We deserved this win. We did a lot of homework and studied Juventus hard. Our hard work paid off tonight and our tactics went to plan. We need games like this to learn from, and maybe now Juventus will want to study us."

Last updated: 23/02/06 16.25CET

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