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Mertesacker puts Bremen on brink

Published: Thursday 23 November 2006, 0.55CET
Werder Bremen 1-0 Chelsea FC Per Mertesacker's first-half header set up a gripping conclusion to Group A as the English side still progressed.
by Mark Bennett
from Weserstadion

Match statistics

BremenChelsea

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
4
Attempts off target8
 
3
Corners5
 
3
Offsides1
 
5
Fouls committed20
 
16
Yellow cards1
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 23 November 2006, 0.55CET

Mertesacker puts Bremen on brink

Werder Bremen 1-0 Chelsea FC Per Mertesacker's first-half header set up a gripping conclusion to Group A as the English side still progressed.

Werder Bremen's Per Mertesacker ensured a gripping conclusion to UEFA Champions League Group A with the only goal of an entertaining contest against Chelsea FC, who nevertheless progressed to the first knockout round.

Exciting finale
The German international defender's first-half header proved enough to beat the English champions and set up an intriguing pair of fixtures on Matchday 6. Chelsea and Bremen both have ten points, with the English side top of the section by virtue of their head-to-head record against Bremen and guaranteed a place in the last 16, with bottom team PFC Levski Sofia their final-day opponents. Their German rivals will advance too should they avoid defeat in the Camp Nou against FC Barcelona, who must win to maintain their hold on the trophy.

Early danger
Both clubs showed their intentions early on. Bremen created the first opening seconds after the kick-off when Daniel Jensen released Hugo Almeida but John Terry arrived in time to make an important clearance. However, the visitors subsequently gained the upper hand, Didier Drogba providing the opportunity for Michael Essien to fire wide before another midfielder, John Obi Mikel, spurned an even better chance, heading wastefully over after Terry had nodded a long ball from Geremi into his path.

Bremen breakthrough
Bremen refused to be cowed and continued to make situations of their own. Clemens Fritz did well on the right before feeding the ball to Diego who forced Carlo Cudicini into his first save of the evening from the edge of the area. The Brazilian playmaker then demonstrated his passing skills by freeing Hugo Almeida but the striker shot wide. The Bundesliga outfit had looked particularly threatening from set-pieces, and it was little surprise the opening goal came from that source in the 27th minute, Mertesacker escaping Drogba to meet Torsten Frings's corner with a powerful downward header that gave Cudicini no chance.

Ballack denied
Michael Ballack had the opportunity to mark his first club return to Germany since leaving FC Bayern München with an equaliser, but Tim Wiese proved his equal to preserve Bremen's half-time advantage. Frings tested Cudicini with a free-kick five minutes after the restart although unsurprisingly Chelsea soon found a response, Drogba exchanging passes with Joe Cole only for the striker's effort to be blocked by a timely intervention from Naldo.

Double substitution
Just short of the hour José Mourinho attempted to reinvigorate his side, replacing Mikel and the limping Drogba with Arjen Robben and Andriy Shevchenko. The attacking changes almost paid off immediately. The Ukrainian international picked up a loose ball after Bremen had conceded possession in midfield, but his forward surge was thwarted by the strong Mertesacker. Wiese was next to frustrate Shevchenko, diving to his left to palm away a free-kick from just outside the box.

Wiese save
As time ticked away Bremen seemed content to protect their slender lead while the visitors continued to press and almost conjured an equaliser 15 minutes from the end. Joe Cole cut in from the right and unleashed a left-footed shot but once again Wiese was equal to the task. The final whistle duly brought a huge sigh of relief from the Weserstadion crowd.

Last updated: 23/11/06 10.52CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2357/match=1116378/postmatch/report/index.html#mertesacker+puts+bremen+brink

Lineups

bremen

Bremen

chelsea

Chelsea

18
WieseTim Wiese (GK)
23
CudiciniCarlo Cudicini (GK)
4
NaldoNaldo
3
A. ColeAshley Cole
5
WomePierre Wome
4
MakeleleClaude Makelele
8
FritzClemens Fritz
5
EssienMichael Essien
10
DiegoDiego
9
BoulahrouzKhalid Boulahrouz
11
KloseMiroslav Klose
Substitution90+3
10
J. ColeJoe Cole
20
JensenDaniel Jensen
Substitution78
11
DrogbaDidier Drogba
Substitution59
22
FringsTorsten Frings (C)
12
MikelJohn Obi Mikel
Substitution59
23
Hugo AlmeidaHugo Almeida
Substitution87
13
BallackMichael Ballack
Substitution77
24
BorowskiTim Borowski
Yellow Card77
14
GeremiGeremi
29
MertesackerPer Mertesacker
Goal27
26
TerryJohn Terry (C)
Yellow Card78

Substitutes

1
ReinkeAndreas Reinke (GK)
40
HilárioHilário (GK)
3
PasanenPetri Pasanen
7
ShevchenkoAndriy Shevchenko
Substitution59
7
VranješJurica Vranješ
16
RobbenArjen Robben
Substitution59
14
HuntAaron Hunt
Substitution78
19
L. DiarraLassana Diarra
16
AndreasenLeon Andreasen
20
FerreiraPaulo Ferreira
17
KlasnićIvan Klasnić
Substitution90+3
24
Wright-PhillipsShaun Wright-Phillips
Substitution77
27
SchulzChristian Schulz
Substitution87
33
Nuno MoraisNuno Morais

Coach

Thomas Schaaf (GER) José Mourinho (POR)

Referee

Ľuboš Michel (SVK)

Assistant referees

Roman Slyško (SVK), Martin Balko (SVK)

Fourth official

Vladimir Vnuk (SVK)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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