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Barça and Bremen ready for decider

Published: Friday 24 November 2006, 21.45CET
The situation is tantalisingly poised in Group A with one qualifying place still to be decided when FC Barcelona and Werder Bremen meet at Camp Nou.

Tournament statistics

BarcelonaBremen

Goals scored14
 
7
Attempts on target50
 
29
Attempts off target39
 
43
Corners39
 
27
Offsides19
 
13
Fouls committed116
 
111
Yellow cards12
 
12
Red cards0
 
0

Matches

5 December 2006

A Chelsea
2-0
Levski
A Barcelona
2-0
Werder
B Sporting
1-3
Spartak Moskva
B Bayern
1-1
Internazionale
C Galatasaray
3-2
Liverpool
C PSV
1-3
Bordeaux
D Olympiacos
1-1
Shakhtar
D Roma
1-0
Valencia

6 December 2006

E Dynamo
2-2
Real Madrid
E Lyon
1-1
Steaua
F Man. United
3-1
Benfica
F København
3-1
Celtic
G Porto
0-0
Arsenal
G Hamburg
3-2
CSKA Moskva
H Anderlecht
2-2
AEK
H Milan
0-2
Lille
 
Published: Friday 24 November 2006, 21.45CET

Barça and Bremen ready for decider

The situation is tantalisingly poised in Group A with one qualifying place still to be decided when FC Barcelona and Werder Bremen meet at Camp Nou.

The situation is tantalisingly poised in Group A with one qualifying place still to be decided and the teams in contention going head-to-head. FC Barcelona will also want to avoid becoming the first defending champions to fail to get through a group stage since the UEFA Champions League began. They have to win while a draw would allow Werder Bremen to clinch a knockout stage place for the third successive season.

Exciting finale
• It has come down to this exciting finale because both teams won on Matchday 5, Barcelona tasting victory for the first time in four competition matches with a 2-0 success at PFC Levski Sofia while Bremen were inflicting the first campaign defeat on Chelsea FC. Despite that setback the English champions booked their berth through the head-to-head record with last season's Bundesliga runners-up but it is all to play for with regard to the other place. Bremen hold a two-point advantage yet are aware defeat would consign them to the UEFA Cup.

• On Matchday 2 an 89th-minute goal from substitute Lionel Messi denied Bremen victory over the holders. This came after visiting captain Carles Puyol had put through his own goal eleven minutes into the second period.

Previous encounters
• The sides also met last season with the Spanish champions on top home and away. They won 2-0 with goals from Deco and a Ronaldinho penalty and 3-1 in the return. On that occasion Gabri García struck first and, after Tim Borowski's penalty equaliser, Ronaldinho and Henrik Larsson scored. Barça and Bremen first met in UEFA action in the 1992 UEFA Super Cup. The first leg ended 1-1 in Bremen with Johan Cruyff's men winning the return 2-1.

• Barcelona have a history of European encounters with German clubs stretching back to the 1960/61 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final against Hamburger SV. They have won three European trophies against German clubs; the earlier Super Cup success was repeated in the 1997/98 edition with a triumph against BV Borussia Dortmund, while the 1978/79 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was achieved with a 4-3 win against Fortuna Dusseldorf 1895.

• Two weeks ago Frank Rijkaard's side returned to winning ways in Sofia after draws with both Bremen and Chelsea and the Matchday 3 defeat at Stamford Bridge. They were given the boost of an early goal through Ludovic Giuly with Andrés Iniesta putting the issue beyond doubt. On the same night Bremen were scoring a notable success over Chelsea with Per Mertesacker notching the only goal of the game with a first-half header. It was the third successive win in the competition for Thomas Schaaf's team who have scored six goals in that spell without conceding.

Success in Spain
• They can take positives from recent history because two seasons ago they went to Spain on Matchday 6 hoping to seal a qualifying place. They beat Valencia CF 2-0 to progress but it remains their only win in that country. Apart from the two Barça defeats they have lost twice in the Spanish capital, as Club Atlético de Madrid advanced from the 1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals and 1986/87 UEFA Cup first round with 3-1 and 2-0 home wins respectively.

Last updated: 01/12/06 16.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2006/matches/round=2357/match=1116395/prematch/background/index.html#barca+bremen+ready+decider

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