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Pizarro hat-trick eliminates Twente

Werder Bremen 4-1 FC Twente (agg: 4-2)
Claudio Pizarro scored a hat-trick to set last season's losing UEFA Cup finalists up for a last-16 meeting with Valencia CF.

Claudio Pizarro has scored eight times since the start of the group stage
Claudio Pizarro has scored eight times since the start of the group stage ©Getty Images

FC Twente's defensive resolve deserted them at the Weserstadion as a Claudio Pizarro hat-trick helped Werder Bremen surge through to a UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against Valencia CF.

The Dutch side's rearguard was shredded in the first half-hour, when their 1-0 first-leg lead promptly became a 3-1 aggregate deficit. Pizarro materialised at the far post to prod in Hugo Almeida's 15th-minute pass before Mesut Özil teed him up for a slick, low finish five minutes later. Naldo then bustled to the front of a queue of Bremen players in the box to beat Sander Boschker on 27 minutes.

It could have been 5-0 at that stage, Özil and Hugo Almeida the misfiring marksmen, but Twente seemed to have dug themselves out of the mire when the unchallenged Luuk de Jong rose to head in Bryan Ruiz's centre 12 minutes from the break. Another goal at that stage would have put them ahead in the tie, and they came agonisingly close, Ruiz hitting the post on 58 minutes before Bernard Parker flashed the rebound over.

The price of those misses was paid within seconds as Pizarro completed his hat-trick. Found on the edge of the box by Özil's pass, Boschker got a hand to the Peruvian's shot but could not stop the 31-year-old's eighth goal since the start of the group stage trundling in. Hugo Almeida's downward header was matched by a fine Boschker save on 73, but Bremen's job was already done.