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Champions League Review: Schalke Snatch Win, Bremen Battered By Inter

jermaine-jones-schalke

Schalke were under pressure to find three points at home against Benfica, after losing their opening Champions League match by a score of one goal to nil away to Lyon. Werder Bremen, on the other hand, came back in their opening match after being two-nil down to grab a deserved point. Travelling to Inter, though, pulling off a result like that would be near impossible.

Schalke 04 2 – 0 SL Benfica

I have to say, I didn’t see this one coming at all. I thought Benfica would control the match and the physicality of Oscar Cardozo would provide a massive test for Schalke’s back-line, but at the end of the day it was Schalke who came out victorious. Schalke are now unbeaten in three matches in all competitions, which is a huge step up from where they were just a fortnight ago.

A late flurry of action provided the win for Schalke, with goals from Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has been on flying form for the Konigsblauen since signing in the summer. This is a big win for Schalke, and will help boost confidence around the camp and relieve the pressure on Felix Magath. They’ll have to keep it up though, or wins like these will be all for nothing. Schalke host Hapoel Tel-Aviv in their next Champions League fixture, and will look to grab another three points to boost their chances of a round of sixteen spot.

Internazionale 4 – 0 Werder Bremen

After so much being made about Inter losing Jose Mourinho in the summer, and about Inter going through a crisis after losing to Roma on the weekend, Inter certainly brushed off the media nonsense and got on very professionally. Werder Bremen were absolutely torn apart here. Inter were rampant. Youngster Coutinho made his full debut for the Italian and European champions, and looked an absolute revelation. His passing was superb, his vision was excellent, and he took Wesley – who slotted in at right-back because of Clemens Fritz’s injury – apart. A star of the future, for sure.

Samuel Eto’o got up to his old ways and scored a fantastic hat-trick, and Wesley Sneijder got one of his own as well. Eto’o was virtually unplayable; Prodl and Mertesacker couldn’t get anywhere near him. His pace was far too much for the Bremen back-line to deal with, and they lost him almost every time he made a forward run. Marko Marin featured, but was completely subdued by Esteban Cambiasso and Cristian Chivu. Even his set-pieces were woeful.

Thomas Schaaf has been under incredible pressure already, and has even had to face the board in an emergency meeting, and this result will not help his cause at all. Werder Bremen travel to Twente for their next Champions League encounter, and will be lucky to get out of Holland with a point if they play like this again. While they were missing Torsten Frings, Clemens Fritz and Claudio Pizarro, the entire side played very poorly and the loss was well deserved.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Diriye

    September 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Halloween(Mike Dean) coming early to Dortmund. lol

    This probably not the place for it but anyone know what is wrong with English refrees in Uefa competitions. I can tell youthis, this is like the fourth time an English refree ruined an excellent a match for the home fans and for me. Dortmund was playing excellent football until Mike Dean sent Schmelzer off for jumping out a nasty tackle in the middle of the park.

    Anyone remember Valancia vs Bremen last year when Bremen got a penalty kick out of no where. It was English refree again. PSV vs Inter last year same old story. All I am saying is Dortmund should lodge a compliant.

    Plus Barrios needs to convert his chances. What is up with that diving header when he could have sloted it home or shooting the ball when Kagawa was free.

  2. David

    September 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Diriye

    Werder have 2 good replacements for Özil in Hunt & Marin. That’s not their problem, nor is Wiese (gotta stand up for my ex-FCK guys.)

    Their entire problem is defense. Especially in the CL, you cannot have Mertesacker on the field w/o a fast sweeper-type defender next to him. Prödl is not that player. When they get Naldo back they’ll be much better.

    Plus Silvestre has remembered how to play really badly. At first he seemed to have forgotten that, but it’s all come back to him now. He is a ponderous disaster. When 2 of your back 4 have the turning radius of an 18-wheeler your defense will get sliced open time & again. Which is what happened yesterday.

    And knowing your defense is sieve-like puts a great amount of pressure on your midfielders (not to mention your goalkeeper,) because they know that one slight mistake could lead to a goal. Everything starts at the back. W/o a competent defense Werder will continue to struggle, and that’s not gonna change until everyone’s healthy.

    I know I’m stating the obvious in saying that, but losing Özil is not really a problem for Werder. Losing defenders to injury is. I don’t know why they don’t just pair Frings w/Mertesacker until Naldo’s healthy. Surely Frings can marshal their defense & clean up behind Mertesacker? Obviously I’m not a coach!

  3. Diriye

    September 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Bremen? Where is Bremen that is the question?

    Releasing Ozil + not shopping good defenders= Bremen disappearing.

    What is up with these 4 goals? five times now? Tim Wiese getting old?

    He should be on the bench after Leverkusen if he concedes 3 goals. I don’t care how bad your defense is you cannot let 4 goals on dailly basis. He should get his act.

  4. Diriye

    September 29, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I like Schalke but in contention for domestic title? No way

    Match day four closed that dream. Mid table at best.

    Papadopoulos – Best defender, totally agree. He basically pulled one goal back by sliding on Cordozo. Howedes is decent defender too. He and Papadopoulos may be tough to beat if they work longer enough.

    Matip and Juarado were decent as well. Matip was heavily involved in the first goal cooly feeding the guy who crossed.

  5. Nick

    September 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I still think that Schalke will be one of the condenders for the Bundesliga and do very very good in the Champions League, same as I thought before the beginning of the Bundesliga.

    With all these signings…they can’t be bad.

    Raul – The player that works harder than anyone, he runs and goes for everything, the reason why Schalke won today. Great Signing.

    Hunterlaar – A typical striker to score goals, he is in the right place to tap the ball in. Good signing.

    Papadopoulos – Best defender that I’ve seen at Schalke at a long time.

    As for Metzelder, he is a typical Van Buyten, Demichelis type, one moment is world-class one moment he plays like he is playing in a 5th division team.

    I could see Schalke reaching the semifinals…Just keep this in mind 🙂

    • Dylan Thomas

      September 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

      SEMI-FINALS!?
      now you’ve lost it! haha.
      I can’t see that happening at all. Round of sixteen, fine. But semi-finals? Sorry. If they draw an Arsenal or a Chelsea or any decent club really, they’ll get battered.

      • Nick

        September 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

        Yeah I know, everyone thinks im crazy for saying that but you’ll see…:)

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