"We knew we had the chance to turn a dream into reality but we didn't expect to do it like that." Thomas Schaaf
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Top of the Spanish Liga and just a point from the round of 16, Real Madrid CF were stunned by a SV Werder Bremen performance full of vim and vigour.
The Bundesliga side needed to win to keep alive their hopes of progressing – how it showed. Explosively out of the traps, Bremen's fifth-minute lead was just what the doctor ordered. There was more than a whiff of luck about its conception, though. Boubacar Sanogo's ungainly control of Clemens Fritz's cross on his shoulder inadvertently teed up Markus Rosenberg to scuff a shot into the ground and over Iker Casillas.
If that was full of fortune, Madrid's equaliser was equally rich in quality. Marcelo splayed the ball out to Robinho who, wide on the left, drifted infield with a subtle change of pace and curled effortlessly past Christian Vander and inside the far post.
If that was meant to spell the beginning of Madrid asserting their authority, Bremen had not been sent a copy of the script. Indeed, their effervescence remained intact and was never starker than in the build-up to their second.
Rosenberg was the protagonist, showing desire to win the ball back in his own half, drive to race clear of Fernando Gago and skip past Christoph Metzelder's rash challenge, and poise to cross into the middle. Sanogo's first-time volley was the icing on the cake.
Ruud van Nistelrooy passed up a gilt-edged chance to level again soon after and, barely two minutes later, looked on in envy as Bremen showed the composure he so uncharacteristically lacked. Daniel Jensen played the sumptuous chip over the Madrid defence and Aaron Hunt, making his first appearance in more than six months, tucked past the onrushing Casillas like he had never been away.
Van Nistelrooy relocated his instinct for goal with 19 minutes remaining when, with the shrewdest and briefest of glances up, he delicately lobbed Vander from the most unaccommodating of angles. Madrid ultimately ran out of puff having been blown away by a breathless Bremen display on what their coach, Thomas Schaaf, described as an "extraordinary night".