Germany's Werder Bremen can be a mystery side at best. On their day they can beat most sides across Europe, but on a bad day they can be beaten by many sides even from lower divisions. Last night against UC Sampdoria Genoa they once more showed a pathetic display, but like often before in their history in continental competition Bremen somehow got through. Bremen needed a late injury time goal to get into extra time and there they showed glimpses of what the team is capable of. And in the end they ensured that they will once more play in the UEFA Champions League, their sixth appearance in Europe's premier club competition in the last seven years.
Just to recap the match stats over the two legs. Bremen won 3-1 at home six days ago and lost 1-3 after regulation time in Genoa, which meant 30 minutes of extra time and there Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro scored Bremen's second in the 100th minute, which ended Sampdoria's dream of playing in the Champions League for the first time ever, then with the away goal rule Sampdoria would have had to score two more to get past the Germans.
Bremen had a week of football which is typical for them. They play an attractive attacking game, so their matches are a treat to watch and often before their games you don't know the potential outcome. Like the stock exchange Bremen's stocks can go up and down, often even within a match it is a roller coaster ride like it was against Sampdoria.
In the game last week Bremen and Sampdoria had a mixed first session, but after the break Bremen took control and scored three goals only to concede a late one which kept Sampdoria in the tie. And Bremen should have sealed the tie in the Weserstadion itself with a four, maybe even a five-nil drubbing. And that could have haunted the North Germans as Sampdoria were two-nil up at home after 13 minutes through two Giampaolo Pazzini headers. Sampdoria at this stage were through and Bremen looked awful for more then an hour, but towards the end Sampdoria looked to be tiring still they scored their third through Antanio Cassano. And the Italians thought they had ensured their passage to the Champions League group stages before substitute Markus Rosenberg gave Bremen a third minute injury time lifeline, which Pizarro would follow-up in extra time as he won it for Bremen and ensured their unlikely passage into the Champions League group stage.