Bundesliga: Werder beat Hamburg in UCL decider

May 7, 2008

BERLIN, May 7 (Reuters) - Werder Bremen won 1-0 at Hamburg SV on Wednesday despite finishing with nine men to clinch a top-three finish, and at least a place in the Champions League qualifiers, for themselves and Schalke 04.

Werder took the lead in Germany's big northern derby through a Hugo Almeida blast early in the second half.

Frank Baumann was sent off soon after and Jurica Vranjes followed him down the tunnel late in the game but Thomas Schaaf's side held on for a win that takes them back up to second place and ends Hamburg's Champions League hopes.

Bayern Munich, who wrapped up the title on Sunday, celebrated in front of their fans with a 2-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld with goals from Franck Ribery and Lukas Podolski.

Werder's win over Hamburg, following a 3-0 victory for Schalke at Bochum on Tuesday, settled the other big question.

The runners-up spot in Germany gives direct entry to the Champions League group stage, while third is enough for a place in the final qualifying round.

With two games to play, Werder are second on 60 points - 10 behind Bayern and two ahead of Schalke in third.

Hamburg and VfB Stuttgart are in fourth and fifth on 51 points, meaning the best they can now hope for is qualification for the UEFA Cup.

'It's always good to win the northern derby, but this is also a big step on the way to the Champions League,' said Werder goalkeeper Tim Wiese, who might have been sent off himself after a wild challenge in the first half.

Bayer Leverkusen, beaten 2-1 at home by Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, remain in sixth place on 48 points.