Bremen claim second spot
By Andrew Scurr. Last Updated: 07/12/05 9:46pm
Werder Bremen sealed their passage into the second phase of the competition with an emphatic victory over Panathinaikos in Germany.
The 5-1 win, along with Barcelona's victory over Udinese meant that the German side leapfrogged the Italians into the second spot in the group.
A brace from Nelson Valdes (28 & 31) alongside Johan Micoud's second minute penalty and second-half goals from Miroslav Klose (52) and Torsten Frings (90) sealed the victory. The Greek side did claim a consolation on 53 minutes from Nasief Morris, however it could not spark a revival.
In a game of very few clear cut chances, the match was played almost entirely in the middle third of the pitch, with Bremen scoring on almost every attack they created.
Bremen got off to the perfect start, scoring inside two minutes through Micoud.
Having been put through on goal, Klose was needlessly brought down by Mario Galinovic in the Panathinaikos goal and Micoud coolly slotted home from 12 yards.
The Greek side's only chance of the half came just minutes later. As they looked for an instant response, Dimitrios Papadopoulos hit his shot wide from a tight angle when a square ball would have put Sandor Torghelle in for an easy chance.
Two goals in the space of three minutes from Valdez seemingly had the victory wrapped up after just 30 minutes.
The striker's first European goal of the season came after he had been left unmarked in the Panathinaikos box to score from 10 yards.
With the defence back-tracking, Valdez took up the open space, and when found from Micoud's flick-on, had the easiest of jobs to add the second for the German side.
Valdez added his second on the half-hour after being played in once again by Micoud and calmly slotted past a sprawling Galinovic.
Having found space, the Frenchman played a perfectly weighted ball through for the Paraguayan who shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.
The home-side were now dominating the game and should have added the fourth before the break, however Frank Fahrenhorst could not get over the ball after the perfect centre from Christian Schulz.
They did however add the fourth seven minutes into the second half, as Klose found himself in acres of space having been put through by Valdez.
The masked striker composed himself and after dummying the keeper, placed the ball into the back of the net to pile on the misery for Panathinaikos.
However, the Greek side made an instant response and, with their first attempt on target, joined in the goal-fest.
Mikael Nilsson's tempting cross attracted the attention of Andreas Rinke who made an attempt to claim the ball, however Morris nipped in front of the goalkeeper to glance the ball into the empty net.
Both sides seemed to give the game up after this point, with very few chances in the second half but after news filtered through of Barcelona's first goal, this gave Bremen a lift and they added the fifth through Frings in stoppage time.
Click here for Werder Bremen v Panathinaikos player ratings.
|Werder Bremen||Team Statistics||Panathinaikos|
|3||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||1|
|8||Shots off Target||2|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 7th Dec - Group A
Club Brugge1 - 1Bay Munich
Rapid Vienna1 - 3Juventus
Wed 7th Dec - Group B
Arsenal0 - 0Ajax
Sp Prague0 - 0FC Thun
Wed 7th Dec - Group C
W Bremen5 - 1Panathinaikos
Udinese0 - 2Barcelona
Wed 7th Dec - Group D
Benfica2 - 1Man Utd
Villarreal1 - 0Lille
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H