Wearing the captain’s armband for Werder Bremen, 33-year-old veteran international midfielder TORSTEN FRINGS (22), who has earned 79 caps (10 goals) for Germany, steps around the challenge of Italy international striker ANTONIO CASSANO of Sampdoria Genoa at the Weserstadion in Bremen. (David Hecker/DDP)
UEFA Champions League
Playoff round, first leg
3 – Werder Bremen (GER) ——— Fritz 51′, Frings pen 67′, Pizarro 69′
1 – Sampdoria Genoa (ITA) ——- Pazzini 90′
Perhaps in spite of the drama surrounding the departure of Germany World Cup midfielder MESUT OEZIL to Spanish giant CF Real Madrid in the days leading up to the match, German Bundesliga side SV WERDER BREMEN inflicted a 3-1 defeat upon Italian Serie A outfit UC SAMPDORIA GENOA in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff round.
Germany international defender CLEMENS FRITZ collected a poor clearance on the right, cut inside to the center and uncorked a left-footed cannonball from outside the box into upper far corner to break a scoreless deadlock and sent Werder Bremen ahead in the sixth minute of the second half.
Sampdoria might have leveled had the shot of Italy World Cup striker GIAMPAOLO PAZZINI not hit the post shortly thereafter but then disaster struck as defender STEFANO LUCCHINI was shown a second yellow card for pulling Austria international defender SEBASTIAN PROEDL’s shirt in the penalty area.
Highly experienced Germany international midfielder TORSTEN FRINGS finished from the spot in the 67th minute.
Fritz had a hand in the move that produced the third Bremen goal; Peru international striker CLAUDIO PIZARRO finished following a pretty back heel pass from Portugal international attacker HUGO ALMEIDA before seventy minutes had been played.
Pazzini did provide Sampdoria a measure of hope for the second leg in Genoa by heading home the cross of Lithuania international defender MARIUS STANKEVICIUS in the 90th minute.
WERDER BREMEN : Wiese – Proedl, Mertesacker, Fritz, Pasanen (Boenisch 77′) – Bargfrede, Borowski, Frings, Hunt (Marin 85′) – Pizarro, Almeida (Arnautovic 89′)
SAMPDORIA GENOA : Curci – Lucchini, Ziegler, Gastaldello, Volta – Semioli (Stankevicius 68′), Mannini (Guberti 65′), Tissone (Poli 59′), Palombo – Cassano – Pazzini