Werder demolish Bayern to win League Cup

August 6, 2006

BERLIN, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Croatia striker Ivan Klasnic scored twice as Werder Bremen beat Bayern Munich 2-0 to win the pre-season German League Cup final on Saturday.

Germany striker Miroslav Klose set up Klasnic for the first goal in the 29th minute with a fine pass and the 26-year-old drilled a free kick through a gaping hole in the Bayern wall for the second goal after 66 minutes.

'We not only wanted to win more than Bayern, we were also quite clearly the better team,' said Bremen captain Torsten Frings after the match played before 41,300 at a neutral venue in Leizpig's Zentralstadion.

Bremen won two million euros ($2.56 million) for their first League Cup title.

It was the first time Bayern have been beaten in the final of the 'Ligapokal' tournament after they won all five of their previous appearances in the competition made up of the top six Bundesliga finishers from the previous season.

It was also a clear signal that Bremen, who finished second to Bayern last season, are serious about winning the Bundesliga again after their last crown in 2004. Bayern won the last two Bundesliga championships with relative ease.

'I know I've got to score goals to win a spot in the first 11 and that's what I did,' said Klasnic, who is battling to win a slot up front next to Klose.

Bayern missed playmaker Michael Ballack who joined Chelsea in the close-season. Striker Roque Santa Cruz was moved back to midfield but was not effective.

England's Owen Hargreaves, who performed well in the Ballack position in Tuesday's victory over Schalke 04, was dropped back into a defensive midfield role, where he was largely anonymous.

'We didn't have much up front,' said Bayern coach Felix Magath. 'Bremen were strong. They're clearly a co-favourite for the Bundesliga.'

Bayern have not scored during three pre-season matches.

Before Saturday, Bremen had beaten third place Hamburg SV 2-1 on Tuesday while Bayern defeated fourth place Schalke 4-1 in a penalty shootout on Wednesday after a scoreless draw.

The Bundesliga begins on Friday.