Werder Bremen's players were "devastated" after Lionel Messi's late goal robbed them of a shock UEFA Champions League win against FC Barcelona.
Bremen came within a minute of beating the European champions after a second-half Carles Puyol own goal had given them the lead at the Weserstadion, but Messi's 89th-minute strike earned the visitors a 1-1 draw. Miroslav Klose was not the only player to feel a little short-changed at the final whistle. "We are obviously devastated and everybody including myself is extremely down," the centre-forward said.
"We were so close to beating Barcelona but in the end it just wasn't to be," Klose added. "I must compliment the team though, we played extremely well." Defender Clemens Fritz echoed Klose's comments, saying: "We played very good football but in the end we didn't get the second goal. We would have deserved to win but in the end it just wasn't to be."
Despite the mood of disappointment, no blame was apportioned for Messi's equaliser. "Nobody is to blame for the equaliser," said goalkeeper Tim Wiese. "Barcelona simply have world-class players in their ranks and one magic moment from Messi gave them a point." Midfielder Torsten Frings agreed. "Barcelona are the defending champions and everybody knows the quality they have in their ranks," he said.
Nonetheless, Bremen are far from conceding hopes of progress from Group A and Klose vowed to bounce back in the upcoming matches. "We showed just what we are capable of when we play as a team," said the Germany totem. "We must draw strength from our performance and beat [PFC Levski] Sofia twice in the next two games. That would give us seven points and I am sure we'd still have everything to play for in this group."
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