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Bremen flurry floors ten-man Ajax

Published: Thursday 15 February 2007, 0.59CET
Werder Bremen 3-0 AFC Ajax Goals from Per Mertesacker, Naldo and Torsten Frings condemned the high-flying Dutch visitors to defeat in Germany.

Match statistics

BremenAjax

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target11
 
3
Attempts off target15
 
1
Corners11
 
1
Offsides3
 
2
Fouls committed11
 
17
Yellow cards1
 
5
Red cards0
1

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 15 February 2007, 0.59CET

Bremen flurry floors ten-man Ajax

Werder Bremen 3-0 AFC Ajax Goals from Per Mertesacker, Naldo and Torsten Frings condemned the high-flying Dutch visitors to defeat in Germany.

Werder Bremen made amends for a dip of form in the Bundesliga by wearing down ten-man Ajax for a convincing victory in Wednesday's UEFA Cup Round of 32 first-leg tie.

Making merry
After successive domestic defeats left them six points off the pace in the German title race, Bremen made the most of Ajax midfielder Olaf Lindenbergh's first-half dismissal thanks to second-half strikes from Per Mertesacker, Naldo and Torsten Frings.

Missed opportunities
The Dutch side were always facing an uphill struggle once Lindenbergh had received his second yellow card within the space of three minutes, following a trip on Frings, 24 minutes into this Weserstadion encounter. Bremen immediately spurned the chance of the breakthrough when no one applied the finishing touch to a fine Miroslav Klose cross. Ryan Babel was equally wasteful after Wesley Sneijder's good work had created the opening for Ajax.

Floodgates open
It was the visitors who were left to rue their profligacy three minutes after the break when Mertesacker struck after Ajax keeper Maarten Stekelenburg had parried Jurica Vranješ' attempt following a corner. One became two soon after, Naldo's header from a Frings corner being adjudged to have crossed the line. Naldo then nodded wide from an easier opportunity, before Ajax's Hedwiges Maduro forced a save from Tim Wiese. The icing on the cake for Thomas Schaaf's men came on 71 minutes when Frings converted Klose's inviting cross, despite the best efforts of defender Johnny Heitinga. Ajax were relieved to see a Diego strike rebound off a post, leaving the deficit at 3-0 going into next week's return.

Last updated: 15/02/07 11.22CET

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