Werder Bremen 4-1 CD Nacional
Markus Rosenberg scored two tap-ins in four first-half minutes to set the home side on course for an impressive victory in Group L.
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Markus Rosenberg scored two tap-ins in four first-half minutes to set Werder Bremen on course for a 4-1 victory over CD Nacional.
In charge from the off, Bremen forged ahead on 31 minutes as Rosenberg bundled in and when he doubled the advantage from similar range the writing was on the wall for the visitors. Needing victory to retain any hopes of progressing from Group L, the Portuguese side did reduce the deficit through Rúben Micael after the hour. They briefly threatened an equaliser before Marcelo Moreno headed in Marko Marin's cross six minutes from time, substitute Marin making it four right at the end.
With Torsten Frings and Peter Niemeyer pulling the strings the hosts set up camp in Nacional's half early on and, until the last embers of the visitors' round of 32 ambitions seemed to have been extinguished, they never really vacated it. Sebastian Prödl and Aaron Hunt both blazed presentable chances over as Werder elegantly scythed through a disjointed back line. Yet while Bremen's approach play was all slick passes and cute dinks, Rosenberg's goals owed more to brawn than beauty.
First, the unmarked Moreno headed Daniel Jensen's cross against the back post and Rosenberg converted from all of a metre. That was positively long distance compared to his next effort as Per Mertesacker beat goalkeeper Rafael Bracali to a corner and his deflected, looping header was helped over the line by the Swedish striker. Nacional looked a shadow of the side that have climbed to fourth in Portugal but that all changed when, moments after Rosenberg had passed up a fine chance to complete his hat-trick, Micael made it 2-1 with a deflected free-kick. Only an acrobatic save from debutant Sebastian Mielitz denied Mateus a long-range equaliser after the restart – yet that is as close as the visitors would come and Bremen, who need a point away to Athletic Club in a fortnight to secure top spot, had the last word.