Werder Bremen (Germany) (Home)
Champions League

Wednesday 24th November 2010

Spurs face Werder Bremen at White Hart Lane in a match that could see them qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time, but following the win over Arsenal at Highbury on Saturday, will it once more be a case of the subsequent game not living up to the one before ?

Bremen arrive at the the Lane with a 0-4 defeat at Schalke 0-4 in their minds, with the team seemingly in disarray.  This has come after defeat by Nurnberg, losing to and drawing with Twente in the CL, getting slaughtered by Stuttgart 0-6 and a 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.  Coach Thomas Schaff is at a bit of a loss to explain why the team has been beaten so often, with only a win likely to give them the slimmest of opportunities to progress in this competition.  Their 0-4 defeat at Inter was only limited to that score-line by the Italian club's lack of interest in going for more goals.

But they have experience in Europe and have some good players.  Marin is the undoubted star, with a World Cup behind him and some good performances in the Champions League, his nippy runs and impressive finishing has caught the eye.  Torsten Frings has been an international and inspiration for Werder in the past, but his passing seems off at the moment and his effect on the team is waning, with rumours of a move to New York Red Bulls in the air.  He misses this match through suspension anyway.  Fellow midfielders Tim Borowski and Aaron Hunt not able to produce the play to spark the forwards into life.  Marko Arnautovich is trying to live up to his self-made reputation and Hugo Almeida is a player who is low on confidence at the moment, lacking the timing to find his way otno balls into the box, without getting offside.  Arnautovich and fellow striker Claudio Pizarro are both ruled out with injury.

At the back, only keeper Tim Weise is escaping criticism for the lack of points and the centre-back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Sebastien Prodl are having trouble resisting opposition attacks.  With former Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre playing at full back, he has been exposed by the midfield's lack of defensive resolve.

Having 11 players out injured, suspended or ill makes the selection process limited, but the side will be wanting to put in a good display to take someone with them if they can't progress to the knock-out stages.  But two players with no first team Bundesliga experience will take the field and there are likely to be six amateur third divisions squad members plucked from the club's nursery side.

Spurs come into the match off the back of a win over Arsenal and with Jermain Defoe back in the squad, looking to get his goal-scoring boots back in action.  With Aaron Lennon failing to make a great impact on Saturday, he might be included to be given a chance to sparkle and add pace to a twin wing attack.  The Spurs defence is looking a little more settled, but a clean sheet on Wednesday night would be most welcome and would probably be enough to go through. 

As Bale and van der Vaart are doubtful, it could leave the opportunity for others to step up and make their mark, but there should be enough in the Spurs tank to see this one out ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur    2      Werder Bremen    1


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Gareth Bale (hopeful - shoulder); Niko Kranjcar (doubtful - calf);  Ledley King (out - groin); Giovani dos Santos (out - groin); Michael Dawson (out - knee and ankle); Tom Huddlestone (out - ankle); Jamie O'Hara (out - back); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Rafael van der Vaart (doubtful - ankle); - (-); 

WERDER BREMEN :  -  Wesley (out - hamstring); Naldo (out - injured); Petri Pasanen (out - cold); Marko Arnautovic (out - thigh); Torsten Frings (out - hip); Claudio Pizarro (out - hamstring); Sebastien Boenisch (out - injured); Clemens Fritz (out - thigh); - (-); - (-); 


Sky Sports 2 + 2HD - (live coverage)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.


Tottenham Hotspur   3    Werder Bremen   0      (Half-time score : 2-0)

Champions League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 24th November 2010
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   33,546
Referee : Olegario Benquerenca (Spain)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Clear and cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  2  Hutton
13  Gallas (c)
  4  Kaboul
32  Assou-Ekotto

  7  Lennon
14  Modric
  8  Jenas (12  Palacios 20)
  3  Bale  (21  Kranjcar 81)

  9  Pavlyucenhko (18  Defoe 57)
15  Crouch

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini

19  Bassong
10  Keane

Werder Bremen :

  1  Wiese

  8  Fritz     
15  Prodl       
29  Mertesacker (c) 
41  Schmidt

18  Felix Kroos       (46  Onur Ayik  55)
10  Marin
20  Jensen  (  3  Pasenen  86)
44  Bargfrede
  Hunt  (36  Lennart Thy  80)

19  Wagner     

Unused subs: 
21  Mielitz
27  Andersen
17  Husainovic

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Werder Bremen
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Kaboul 6
Modric 45+1
Crouch 79

Werder Bremen


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  




Werder Bremen

Fritz (foul)  42
Prodl (foul) 50
Kroos (foul)  53
Wagner (dissent)  53   


Match Report : -  
A curious game in a way.  Played in cold conditions, it failed to warm up and Tottenham cantered through the match at just over half pace for most of the time, but ended up beating a depleted and jaded Werder Bremen side 3-0 to progress to the group stages.

While it should have been a joyous occasion (like the Milan game), this was a thoroughly professional performance in getting into the last 16 and taking the next step in the European adventure.

Attacking from the start, Spurs opened the scoring in the sixth minute, when a good pavement of the ball got Aaron Lennon away down the right and his low pull back found Younes Kaboul on the edge of the six yard box.  Taking the ball first time, he hit it into the ground and the ball bounced high into the top of the net with his effort coming off the turf and rising up over the diving Wiese.  It was the early goal Spurs needed, but Werder showed little intent on turning over the Tottenham lead and while they passed the ball neatly, they failed to penetrate the Spurs back line that often.

Decimated by injury, Bremen were limited in who they could choose and could be a match for anyone when they are at full strength, but tonight it was a shadow of their first choice eleven, leaving Tottenham to go forward at will and not have to worry about Heurelho Gomes being overly troubled.

Peter Crouch was the target for Spurs in much of the match and therefore Pavlyuchenko lacked the service he wanted, but the tall striker headed down for Jenas to fire over the top and then almost got on the end of Benny Assou-Ekotto's far post cross to knock it down, but he got squeezed out by green-shirted defenders.  Even the loss of the recently effective Jermaine Jenas with a calf muscle pull did not affect the way Spurs went about the match, with Wilson Palacios coming on to give a solid display of midfield tackling. 

Aaron Hunt hit a shot well wide for Bremen in their first attempt on goal, other than a header by Schmidt that was nowhere near the target.  Then Roman Pavlyuchenko almost got on the end of a Crouch touch, but it looked as though it took him by surprise and his hurried effort went wide, when a shot on target might have tested Wiese.  Marin who had been so effective in the first match lacked the support to do well and he was well marshalled by the Spurs defence, but he did get free in the 20th minute, but hit a shot well wide of goal.  Meanwhile Pav was at it again at the other end.  This time, he was played in by Lennon after taking on Schmidt and laying the ball back for the Russian, who took a touch to ensure he got a shot on target and this time Mertesacker did well to get a block in to stop the shot. 

The Bremen captain did the same to divert Gareth Bale's drive wide with a minute to go before half time and although the corner came to nothing, when a long ball from the right by Hutton landed on Crouch's head and the knock down was allowed to bounce up by Luka Modric, thus selling his marker a marvellous dummy, he then took the ball early to lift a shot past Wiese into the corner of the goal to make it 2-0 right on the half-time whistle.  The finish was van der Vaart-like in it's execution and a two goal lead was much more comfortable for the Spurs fans who tried to keep warm during the break by poking fun at the German TV interview bar put out in front of the East Stand.

No changes at the break, so Spurs got on with their work, just as they had done during the first 45.  Five minutes in, Prodl was booked for a cynical foul on Lennon and he was almost made to pay for it with Bale's dead ball strike from the right side of the box thudding onto the crossbar with the keeper rooted to the spot and he was unlucky to see it bounce up into he air.

Bale was presented with another scoring chance from a dead ball situation three minutes later, when Modric took the ball on into the penalty area and Kroos could only take his leg from underneath him, picking up a yellow card and there was also one for Wagner, who moaned about it to the referee.  With other more regular penalty taker son the pitch, Bale stepped up to take it and he hit the ball a little too centrally and Wiese made a save at a good height for him to keep the ball out. 

Jermain Defoe came on for his return to European action after his injury picked up playing for England.  He once more looked sharp and flashed a shot in with no back-lift that Wiese could only beat away from the danger area with both hands.  Just before Alan Hutton had cut in from the right and looked like he was going to curl in a shot like he had at Bolton, but he hit it low and without any power, leaving Wiese the easy task to pick the ball up. 

Marin threatened to break in on Spurs' goal, but as he went into the area, William Gallas used his body to hold him off the ball and shielded it back to Gomes, thus averting an panic that the little German's run might have caused.  A half clearance by Prodl as Hutton pout a low ball into the area fell kindly to Aaron Lennon and he had a shot that came out off Defoe before being cleared, while Bale was freed on the left by Defoe to lash a trademark left-foot shot across goal that missed the far post by inches (a la Inter - except then it went in ...  three times). 

But a couple of minutes later in the 79th minute, Bale put a cross in that took the keeper by surprise and bounced back into play off the top of the crossbar and Aaron Lennon was alive to it to keep the play going.  He slipped the ball between Schmidt's legs close to the dead ball line and pulled it low to the near post, where Crouch had dropped off and turned the ball in first time to make it 3-0.

With nothing left in the game, Werder did try and push forward, with Jensen hitting a shot that kept rising and then a cross from Schmidt saw Thy get a glancing header on it, but it went straight into Gomes' arms and the danger was averted.  Substitute Niko Kranjcar was trying to prove his worth, but failed to enhance his reputation with a free kick that landed on top of the net and a shot that was straight at the goalie.  He buzzed about a bit but was not the player he was last season.

The final whistle embarrassingly found the ground only 2/3 full, as many had left before then, with the game dying out as the poor and injury-hit Bremen team struggled to keep pace with Spurs.  Fifteen goals in five group games is a pretty good record and if we can get the same outcome as Inter in the last game, Spurs will top the group.

In a way, it is a shame that this was the final home group game, as Bremen were the weakest of the teams in the group we have played and for all their past good showings in Europe, this became a little tedious, with the Germans showing no effort to make a game of it, other than by bringing Spurs players down at frequent intervals. 

Still, another good win, three points and some more cash in the bank, as the European adventure continues.  With players coming back into the squad and the confidence that results like this will give the team, it could be an interesting start to 2011.

Steve Heller


Fan Reaction : -






Other scores this round :
Internazionale (ITA) 1 Twente Enschede (HOL) 0 Wednesday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5 3 1 1 15 8 10 +4
2 Internazionale 5 3 1 1 12 8 10 +4
3 FC Twente Enschede 5 1 2 2 6 8 5 -2
4 Werder Bremen 5 0 2 3 3 12 2 -9

Position before the match : 1st
Position after the match :   1st


Back to homepage