Werder Bremen's European adventure will continue into at least the UEFA Cup quarter-finals after they comfortably beat RC Celta de Vigo at the Weserstadion to progress 3-0 on aggregate.
Having pushed Chelsea FC and FC Barcelona all the way in their UEFA Champions League group, Thomas Schaaf's side made little secret of their desire to win this competition. They certainly appear among the favourites to do so, Hugo Almeida - scorer of the only goal in Spain last week - and Clemens Fritz finding the net to book Bremen a berth in Friday's draw for the last eight along with Bundesliga rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Celta coach Fernando Vázquez selected a weakened team for this second leg, and it was no surprise to see the Spanish visitors do little to trouble home goalkeeper Tim Wiese. Bremen also took their time to hit their stride, 40 minutes having passed when Christian Schulz twice failed to turn in a cross from Almeida. His second effort, after he had scuffed the first, missed the post by a distance.
Almeida made no mistake three minutes into the second half, beating the offside trap and then Celta goalkeeper Esteban Suárez with a header from substitute Kevin Schindler's centre. Diego and Naldo then went close to making the tie safe, the latter with an attempt cleared off the line, before Celta substitute Jesús Perera saw the first of two 'goals' chalked off for offside.
Ten minutes later, Bremen sealed their place in the quarter-finals when Fritz dispossessed Nené, evaded Matías Lequi and stroked a shot into the far corner of the Celta net. Patrick Owomoyela, who has just recovered from a lengthy injury, and reserve player Amaury Bischoff were thrown on for some experience late on, a sign that Bremen's work was done.