German champions Werder Bremen were thrashed 7-2 by their French counterparts Olympique Lyon in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The second-leg mauling meant Bremen crashed out 10-2 on aggregate.
Lambs to the slaughter: 90 minutes later, Bremen were down and out
Werder Bremen's dreams of Champions League glory not only crumbled in Lyon on Tuesday night but were utterly demolished by a goal avalanche that swept the German champions away and out of the competition.
Thomas Schaaf's team were shown to be severely lacking in class and experience at the highest level in their first round knockout phase second leg tie by the French champions who exposed all of Bremen's frailties and then some in a 7-2 rout.
The increasingly confident Lyon team, progressing on the back off a 10-2 aggregate victory to their second quarter-final in as many years, breezed past a shell-shocked Bremen side thanks to a hat-trick from French international Sylvain Wiltord, a double from Ghanaian Mickael Essien and strikes from Florent Malouda and Jeremie Berthold.
The comprehensive win soon took on the appearance of an exhibition match with the French virtually assured of a spot in the next round after a 3-0 first leg win at the Weserstadion two weeks ago.
Flying Frenchmen steam ahead
Lyon's Sylvain Wiltord, center, challenges for the ball against Bremen's Ludovic Magnin and Fabian Ernst.
Lyon, boosted by the return of striker Sidney Govou from injury and bidding to put two domestic defeats in the past week behind them, got off to a flying start. Wiltord quickly moving forward as he did two weeks ago, opening the score once again after eight minutes from just inside the area with a pass from midfielder Malouda.
Essien netted his first six minutes later with a left footed shot from just outside the area, and put the hosts 3-0 up after 29 minutes to the delight of the crowd at the Gerland stadium.
Werder hit back two minutes later with Frenchman Johan Micoud reducing the deficit when he profited from a deflected centre to beat Gregory Coupet. Lyon's Brazilian striker Juninho had a chance of a fourth three minutes before the break but Bremen's Finnish defender Petri Pasanen cleared.
Profligate strikers rue their luck
Croatian international striker Ivan Klasnic had a chance to reduce arrears for the visitors a minute after the break but sent the shot over the bar, with Juninho similarly sending over a free kick from 30 meters out after 48 minutes.
But once again the hosts found a gap in Werder's defense which allowed Govou take off and pass to Wiltord who slid the ball past beleaguered Werder goalie Andreas Reinke after 54 minutes.
A foul on midfielder Frank Baumann handed Werder a lifeline and they scored their second after 57 minutes from a Valerien Ismael penalty.
Bremen crumble as Wiltord grabs hat-trick
Essien missed out on a hat-trick four minutes later when he found himself alone in front of goal but Reinke held firm. But the worst was yet to come for the German goalie, as Malouda struck after 60 minutes, with Wiltord netting his third three minutes later with a volley from a Govou pass.
The wobbling Germans tried to close down their defense but only aggravated the situation when Lyon were handed a penalty after a foul on their Brazilian striker Nilmar by German international defender Frank Fahrenhorst, with Jeremie Berthod converting it after 79 minutes.
Bremen's Frank Baumann.
Bremen skipper Baumann missed his team's final chance to save face when a fine shot was stopped by Coupet three minutes from time to compound a miserable week for the Germans who all but surrendered their domestic crown last weekend by falling to Bayern Munich.
A tale of two coaches
Lyon coach Paul Le Guen was in awe of his side's demolition job. "Against a good side like Werder we were virtually through after half-an-hour and that is unheard of in the Champions League," said the two-time winning championship coach. "Are we the favourites for the Champions League? Let them say what they like, we'll just get on with it."
Bremen's coach Thomas Schaaf in happier times.
It left Werder coach Thomas Schaaf completely bewildered and less than proud of his team's efforts. "It is unbelievably disappointing and totally unacceptable," he said with some understatement. "One can always lose a match, especially when one plays three strikers, but to lose by so much is just not on. We were never there for the one on one challenges and always too far from the man with the ball."
"Lyon are definitely a good team but they will never come across as easy an opponent as us." However Schaaf said that Lyon were viable candidates for the trophy. "If they continue on this trajectory then I cannot rule anything out for them."
German eyes turn to Wednesday's clashes
Germany's other representatives return to Champions League action on Wednesday night with Bayern Munich traveling to London to defend a 3-1 lead against Arsenal while Bayer Leverkusen welcome English opposition to the BayArena in the form of Liverpool, looking to overturn a similar deficit inflicted in the first leg at Anfield.