Udinese 3-3 Werder Bremen (4-6 aggregate)

TEAM NEWS The Italians started the match with three attackers in order to bounce back from last week’s defeat. Udinese’s head coach relied on the attacking triumvirate of Fabio Quagliarella, Alexis Sanchez and Antonio Floro Flores to do the damage up front. Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf opted to play in basically the same formation as last week. The only change was Petri Pasanen, who replaced Sebastian Boenisch in defence. FIRST HALF The hosts started the match with attacking intentions and got their first chance after only two minutes. Naldo fouled Gokhan Inler on the edge of the penalty area and playmaker Gaetano d’Agostino stepped up for the free kick. The midfielder fired just wide though. Talented youngster Sanchez could have opened the scoring after ten minutes. The winger was clean through on goal but hesitated too long and Naldo prevented him from testing the German goalie. The away side got a chance to make it 1-0 only minutes later. Clemens Fritz sent in a dangerous cross from the right wing and found the unmarked Naldo inside the box. However, the Brazilian defender's shot took an unlucky deflection off Per Mertesacker and the chance went begging. Udinese grabbed a deserved lead in the 14th minute. Swiss midfielder Inler picked up a loose ball in the midfield and opted to unleash a stunning long-range strike that left Werder goalie Tim Wiese with no chance and ended up in the top corner. Bremen weren’t impressed too much though and Hugo Almeida almost equalized from the kick-off. Diego set up the Portuguese forward, but Almeida shot wide from close range. The Italians kept on dominating the game and D’Agostino caused Werder all kinds of trouble with his free kicks. The midfielder hit one of his shots under the wall, but the effort went just wide after about 20 minutes. Bremen playmaker Diego found an equaliser in the 27th minute as Zapata lost possession to the Brazilian in a silly way and Diego didn’t hesitate to calmly place the ball past Udinese shot stopper Samir Handanovic. The Serie A outfit restored their lead only three minutes after Diego's goal. A superb through pass from Giovanni Pasquale reached Quagliarella and the Italian international superbly slotted home with an amazing lob. Hugo Almeida missed his second huge chance of the match about ten minutes before the half time whistle after being set up by Mesut Ozil. The Werder striker really should have done better, but missed while he was all alone on goal. Almeida's miss proved to be quite a crucial one, because Udinese scored the 3-1 on the counter attack. Inler provided a great assist for Quagliarella and the former Manchester United target surprised Wiese with a left footed shot at his near post. Werder almost pegged one back in the dying seconds of the first half. Naldo broke up an Udinese attack and the ball reached Chelsea loanee Claudio Pizarro. Nevertheless, the Peruvian forward failed to beat Handanovic. SECOND HALF Udinese continued where they left off before the interval and kept on causing the German defenders all kinds of trouble. The home crowd were screaming for a free kick when Inler went down on the edge of the area, but the referee refused to award Udinese a free kick. Quagliarella almost got his hat-trick ten minutes after the break. The tricky forward went by Naldo with ease before powering a right footed effort towards the Werder goal. Wiese was left stranded, but the ball went inches wide. Once again Diego found the net for Werder Bremen around the hour mark. The Italian defence failed to clear the ball in a proper way and the pint sized playmaker headed home from close range to double his tally. Felipe came close to restoring Udinese’s two-goal lead minutes after Diego’s header. The Brazilian defender sent in a curled effort towards the far corner, but his shot missed the target by inches. Kwadwo Asamoah hit the upright after 64 minutes with a powerful effort. The Ghanaian midfielder went by several opponents before beating Wiese, but was unlucky to see his shot come back off the post. Turkish midfielder Ozil could have leveled both sides 20 minutes before the final whistle, but the youngster failed to get his shot on target from the edge of the box. Udinese goalie Handanovic kept his side’s chances alive after 72 minutes when he pulled off a superb save to deny Diego from the spot. The penalty kick was somewhat controversially awarded after Diego himself went down in the box. Claudio Pizarro decided the match in the 74th minute. The Italian defenders failed to clear the ball into safety after a corner kick and the former Bayern Munich striker didn’t hesitate and slotted home from about five yards to make it 3-3. Substitute Simone Pepe, who replaced Sanchez early on, tried his luck from a free kick minutes after the equalizer and curled the ball over the wall. Nevertheless, he aimed just too high and Wiese let the ball fly over his goal. Quagliarella didn’t give up and kept on trying his luck. However, the attacker was unlucky in his finishing and fired a shot wide and saw his next effort being deflected out for a corner. Maurizio Domizzi almost found a goal in the dying seconds of the game. The defender saw his shot crash into the post though to see the match end in an entertaining 3-3 draw.


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