Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf praised his side for earning a Group B win at the final time of asking and securing UEFA Cup football although José Mourinho was irked as FC Internazionale Milano slipped to second.
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Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf was delighted that his side finally etched a victory against their name in Group B at the sixth time of asking and qualified for the UEFA Cup by overcoming FC Internazionale Milano at the Weserstadion. José Mourinho believed his team had not underestimated the German outfit, as they perhaps had section winners Panathinaikos FC, but was still left frustrated by the defeat and a points total that the Portuguese coach felt did not deserve second place in the section.
Thomas Schaaf, Bremen coach
We said before the match that there is one result we were still missing and that was a victory in this year's UEFA Champions League. Certainly we wanted to get more but we could not achieve this. It was a season with lots of ups and downs, in the Bundesliga as well as in the Champions League. But that's why we'll enjoy this victory tonight in a special way. The team was very active and deserved to win this game. It took us a long time to get into the match, find a rhythm and get security. But in the second half it was a very strong performance.
I congratulate my players for this success, although we wanted to achieve more. We wanted to come through into the second stage of the Champions League but now we are at least in the UEFA Cup. We want to work for better results next year in Europe. Now we finally have a chance to do that, so this is a positive ending to our Champions League campaign. In our two matches against Inter we have seen that the players put more into a match against such a strong team. But we have to find a strong performance like this constantly and against any team.
José Mourinho, Inter coach
I said it before, and I still think that eight points from the group stage are not enough and maybe a team does not deserve to go to the next round with only eight points. But we have reached our goal and come through so this does not matter now. Second place is certainly not perfect but now there will be a team who were group winners that will be very unhappy to get drawn against us – maybe Manchester United, Barcelona or Liverpool. On the other hand there will be a lucky runner-up that will play against Panathinaikos, although they have won in Milan.
The problem was not our defeat today, the problem was our draw in Cyprus and our defeat at home against Panathinaikos. Today we have seen that Bremen should have finished first or second in this group. They were a very strong team, especially physically, with the spirit that they wanted to win this game at any cost. The first half was quite even, then they scored a goal in the second after Ricardo Quaresma had had a good chance for us. This goal was made possible by good pressing. And Bremen had a good defence, we could not break through after their goal. But we never underestimated Bremen – we maybe underestimated Panathinaikos but not Bremen.