Eidur Gudjohnsen has expressed his relief that FC Barcelona "finished the job" against Werder Bremen and can look forward to the last 16.
The Spanish league leaders had to beat Bremen last night to go through at their German counterparts' expense. Nothing else would do, as a draw or defeat would see them become the first defending champions to exit the UEFA Champions League at the group stage. As such, Camp Nou was packed to the rafters and braced for what promised to be a nervy encounter.
The pre-match tension did not linger for long. Barcelona began imperiously with Gudjohnsen, Deco, Ludovic Giuly and Ronaldinho swarming all over the visiting defence. Once Ronaldinho had broken the deadlock in the 13th minute with an impudent free-kick there was only going to be one winner, and when Gudjohnsen applied the precise finish to a Giuly cross five minutes later the victory was sealed.
'Finished the job'
"We finished the job in the first half," said Gudjohnsen. "We kept our concentration and it was a pity we didn't score even earlier. Giuly set up my goal fantastically and I gave him two or three good crosses. It's important for the attack to click together like we did. We killed the match off.” Although it was not a straightforward campaign in Group A, with Chelsea FC taking top spot, Gudjohnsen believed his side did well enough in the circumstances. "We lost one game which is not that bad," he said.
Regardless of how they made it through, Barcelona remain favourites to retain the trophy. Ronaldinho may have been the star of the show again but one moment summed up that there is more to the Blaugrana than the brilliant Brazilian or the injured Samuel Eto'o. With ten minutes to half-time, Deco picked up the ball. He surged forward 60 metres leaving midfielders in his wake. He then slid the ball to Gudjohnsen who then dumbfounded four defenders before firing in a precise shot that beat Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese, only to smash against the post.
It would have been a goal worthy of any final but Barcelona will not mind one bit that it did not go in or that the second half was all about sitting back and defending the lead. "We can't complain because we are through," said the Iceland forward in summing up the night's work. On the evidence of yesterday’s showing, there is more than enough time left for Barcelona to produce the perfect goal in this season’s competition.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.