UEFA Champions League

December 5, 2006



2 - 0

Werder Bremen

Group A

19:45 +00:00, December 5, 2006

Camp Nou

  • 93'

    It's all over and Barcelona progress into the knock-out stages. A devastating first half put them out of sight and despite a brave and a spirited second half made the reigning champions send Werder Bremen into the Uefa Cup. And watch out, I might have a cheeky fiver on them to win that competition.

  • 93'


  • 92'

    Diego deserves a goal and he almost grabs a fitting strike. A lovely solo move ends with a desperate effort that Valdes stands up to. He really has caught the eye and he can hang his head high after this performance.

  • 91'

    Referee behave! It was a sloppy challenge from Diego and he's got himself booked, but was it really worth it ref? At this stage of the game, was it?

  • 89'

    Out of nowhere Frings has a pop from just on the edge of the box. Valdes palms it away and Thuram sweeps up the scraps. Frings can only get better for Bremen. Sorry!

  • 87'

    Barcelona are nearly there. Was that a champers cork I just heard? They've done enough here tonight but Bremen have made them sweat a little. It's walking pace out there now.

  • 84'

    They keep coming but I'm not sure how many times I've told you tonight already, but the final pass has been woeful. Barca's has been clinical.

  • 83'

    Barca know they've done it now. A few smiles break through on the faces of Puyol and co. They've cleverly slowed this game down and sapped all the life out of this brave Bremen side.

  • 83'

    It looks like it's goiong to be a sad flight back to the north sea port of Bremen. It will be hard on Diego who has dazzled in the second half. But still no clear chance.

  • 80'

    Wiese has had a fine match and gone up in my estimation with his latest save. It was crazy, it was dangerous, but it was inch perfect and prevented a clear goal from Guily. He spotted Ronaldinho's pass to the winger and rushed out to slide in and clear the danger. What a maverick!

  • 78'

    Klose tries to fashion a chance and beats both Marquez and Valdez, shame there's no one in the box to blast home the loose ball.

  • 77'

    The pressure has subsided somewhat over the last few minutes. A succession of stoppages and substitutions have disrupted Bremen's rythmn.

  • 75'

    Giuly and Deco combine down the Barca right and the Frenchman - in acres of space - fails to find a blue and red shirt with his low cross.

  • 74'

    A late on from Wome, about 10 minutes late. The referee had his card ready as soon as the right-back hit the deck. Zambrotta is the victim of this particular mis-hap.

  • 72'

    Iniesta can't continue. Xavi comes on as Barca edge closer to the next stage.

  • 71'

    Has anyone got any composure going spare out there? Bremen need a bucket load of it. They really are lacking that final pass that can unlock the back line.

  • 69'

    You wouldn't have thought it would have been possible after Barca's dominance in the first half, but Bremen are forcing the Catalans back into their own box.

  • 67'

    Another stoppage as Iniesta gets his ankle seen to. It was a nasty fall but he should be ok.

  • 66'

    Good passing again and the crowd don't like it one bit. It's making for an entertaining game though and the Germans are starting to realise that if they don't score soon they'll be in the Uefa Cup in the new year.

  • 64'

    Werder have shaken off their stage-fright and are looking a more than competent side. Mind you, Wome has just given his manager a heart-attack by almost dropping a header into the path of Gudjohnsen who would have had a clean run in on goal. Wiese to the rescue.

  • 61'

    Barca are rocking and Rijkaard knows it. He's thrown on Lillian Thuram to sure things up at the back. Motta makes way.

  • 60'

    What a bizarre effort from Fritz. He swings in a deep cross that everyone thinks is going wide and over, but it hits the sanction and falls back into play. If only Almeida had been more alert to the rebound, Valdes was stranded.

  • 59'

    Bremen are growing in confidence and Diego has arguably their best chance yet to drag them back into this game. But as with all the rest it ends up in Valdes' gloves.

  • 58'

    A few minutes of stoppage as Wiese receives treatment for his part in denying Gudjohnsen. Magic sponge should do the trick.

  • 55'

    At the other end, Gudjohnsen has a great chance to put this game to bed. A long through ball from Ronny sends the striker on his way but a casual effort allows Wiese to make a point-blank save.

  • 54'

    So Klose! Sorry, that's twice I've used that pun now, but Miroslav Klose almost pulled one back for Bremen. He showed great poise and balance as he danced around the Barca defence and Valdes had to be alert at his near post to palm away the chance.

  • 53'

    Bremen are knocking on the door, but can't seem to find a way in. They might want to try the side entrance ie the wings, it's all a bit tight in there at the moment.

  • 51'

    Another booking and it's Motta this time after a reckless lunge on Fritz.

  • 50'

    The Spanish fans don't like this. Their side aren't having too much of the ball and Diego is starting to see more of the ball than his opposite number Deco.

  • 49'

    A decent start for the visitors and nervy times for Barca. Werder have come out fighting and are beginning to encroach on the Barca box. Can they turn that possession into a chance though?

  • 48'

    Diego has done enough to suggest he could be quite a talent so far. But he's ruined all that with an over-ambitious overhead kick from 20 yards. Well wide.

  • 47'

    A booking for Puyol and rightly so! A clumsy challenge from the mop-haired Spaniard on Diego.

  • 46'

    A half chance for Bremen as Borowski latches on to Diego's head and hits a tame half volley at Valdes. It was a tight angle but it was a chance. They won't get too many either.

  • 45'

    Here we go then. Bremen have 45 minutes to salvage a point, while Barca are a half away from the knock-out stages. Werder kick us off.

  • 45'

    The Catalans look to be on their way and boy do they deserve it. Forgive me for drooling on my keyboard, but that was rather special.

  • 45'


  • 43'

    Valdes is allowed to have a chuckle. Almeida hits one from all of 40 yards from an angle. Predictably it bobbles well wide. Well it made me laugh.

  • 43'

    Another little warning from Bremen but another minute passes by without a goal. Wome zings in a low cross that evades everyone in the Barca box and just zips past the outstretched size nine boot of Klose. That was Klose. See what I've done there?

  • 41'

    Every time Werder have a sniff of the ball, the crowd jeer the men in white. It's having some affect, they just can't keep it long enough.

  • 39'

    A period of possession for Bremen but precious little creativity from the Germans. They just lack that flair that their opponents have in abundance.

  • 38'

    No time for showboating Ronny. Don't blame the ref for your bad pass!

  • 37'

    I'm just playing back that Giuly miss, I can't work out how it didn't go in.

  • 36'

    A way back into this game could come from a set-piece and Rodrigues tries his luck with a thumping 25-yearder that zings past Valdes' left post.

  • 35'

    Hang your head in shame Monsieur Giuly! A gaping own goal and he puts it wide. It was a mesmeric build-up created by the artful Deco who carved through the middle of the park like a gazelle being chased by a pack of lions. He threaded his Nordic pal Gudjohnsen who dummied three players before hitting the post. The rebound fell to Giuly and the Frenchman fluffed his lines.

  • 33'

    Check this stat! Barca average three goals a game at home this season. Respect!

  • 32'

    Bremen just can't get the ball. They're working hard but the skill and class of the Barca players is coming through and they've certainly upped their game tonight.

  • 30'

    Van Bronkhorst whips in another cross looking for Gudjohnsen, this time it's well cleared by Mertesacker.

  • 29'

    But just when Bremen get going, they produce a handful of loose passes to lose the initiative.

  • 29'

    But a little warning from the visitors. Wome strides forward and delivers a cross that is hastily hacked away by van bronkhorst. The corner provides another chance but Almeida can't get enough purchase on it.

  • 27'

    Frank Rijkaard will be delighted with this start. They're keeping the ball and look like scoring with every attack.

  • 25'

    Barca are coming out on top of all the 50-50 battles and denying Bremen a chance to keep the ball.

  • 22'

    It's a big ask now and you get the feeling that if Bremen don't score before the break, it could be goodnight Vienna.

  • 21'

    A nice phase of passing sees Daniel Jensen fire in a low shot that flies five yards wide. It's their first attempt and something to build on perhaps. Anything will do at the moment.

  • 20'

    The Germans are well and truly shell-shocked now. Guily almost makes it three with a powerful drive from the right hand edge of the box that whistles just wide. He is tearing the Bremen defence to shreads.

  • 18'

    Disaster for Bremen and shear joy and relief for Barcelona. The reigning champions are well on their way now and what a fine goal it was! Ronaldinho spreads a long pass across field to Giuly who found himself in acres of space. He squares it for Gudjohnsen who calmly slots it home for 2-0.

  • 18'


  • 17'

    They don't look shell-shocked but it has certainly knocked the stuffing out of Bremen. Another goal would be a catastrophe for them.

  • 14'

    It was just the start Barca were looking for and a nightmare for the visitors.

  • 13'

    Now how will Werder respond? They only need a draw remember, but surely they're up against it now?

  • 12'

    The stadium holds its breath and Ronaldinho delivers a wonderful free-kick that flies straight underneath the jumping wall. It was a set-piece straight from the training ground and left the goalkeeper with no chance.

  • 12'


  • 11'

    A theatrical fall from Ronaldinho hands Barca a free-kick right on the edge of the Bremen box. Is there a sniper in the crowd?

  • 9'

    A stinging, zipping drive from Giuly after Deco's corner was cleared brings a fine low save from Wiese. It was a sublime volley, hit with beautiful technique. Unlucky.

  • 8'

    At the other end, Carlos Puyol comes to Barcelona's rescue with a heroic tackle to deny Diego who pulled the trigger to unleash a fierce effort. What a start!

  • 6'

    Bremen almost give the home side a decent opening. Careless passing on the edge of the box allows Deco to stab a tame effort goalwards. An easy save for Wiese but another warning from Barcelona.

  • 5'

    It's a fiesty, high-tempo start and Barca look in the mood.

  • 4'

    An early scare for the German side as Ludovic Guily causes a moment of panic down the Barca right. He skips past his marker and fires in a low cross towards Eidur Gudjohnsen, but the Icelander can't quite get ahead of Mertesacker to get a touch.

  • 3'

    Barcelona spread the ball around with each player keen to get an early touch.

  • 2'

    Barca haven't lost in the Champions League since Juventus beat them in 2003, 12 matches ago. Can Bremen upset the form book?

  • 1'

    It's six seasons since Barca last failed to qualify for the next stages, it would have been unthinkable to imagine the reigning champions not qualifying this time round.


    We're underway in Spain.


    Just under 100,000 supporters are packed into the famous Nou Camp. The fans have formed the famous 'More than just a team' logo in yellow and blue posters. The players take their places and prepare for the Group A decider. Bring it on!