As they take a 3-2 lead into their first knockout round second-leg tie against Juventus, Werder Bremen are ready to lay to rest the UEFA Champions League ghosts of 2004/05.
Bremen's campaign came to a calamitous end at this stage of last season's tournament as they lost 3-0 at home and 7-2 away against French side Olympique Lyonnais to complete an abject 10-2 defeat. It was something they were determined would not happen again.
"Last year we lost heavily against Lyon and we felt strongly that we didn't want to go out of the competition like that again," said Croatian forward Ivan Klasnić. "We wanted to show that we are a good team and that we could stand up to Juventus. We have proved that now."
'The real Bremen'
Late goals at the Weserstadion from Tim Borowski and Johan Micoud gave the German club a slender advantage to take to Turin and Klasnić's strike partner Miroslav Klose is feeling equally confident, adding: "Now Juve know how good we are. When we lost to Lyon last season, that was not the real Werder Bremen - this was the real Bremen. We were very aggressive from the first minute and showed Juve who were the home side."
'Not over yet'
Juventus will have to show similar authority at the Stadio Delle Alpi if they are to make up for conceding two late goals a fortnight ago. The Italian champions are nevertheless feeling positive, having won all but one of their 16 home matches in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League this term. Defender Fabio Cannavaro summed up the optimism, saying: "It's not over yet. We've seen how they play and we'll play our game in Turin."
Bremen, however, are buoyed by the first-leg turnaround and Thomas Schaaf's men plan to approach the return fixture in similiar fashion. "We know we have to play at our best for another match, but we're in a good position now," said midfielder Torsten Frings. "The win will give us self-confidence and we will always be good for a goal in Turin. We can't hope for a draw so we will play for a win there too."
'We deserved it'
"Our win was not a shock result, we deserved it," insisted Klose. "We know we can only make progress if we play as a team and everybody played as a team against Juventus. In Turin, we will need to play well again and it will be very hard because they now know we are not easily beaten."
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