Champions League - Behind Enemy Lines: Bremen battered

Mon, 22 Nov 12:57:00 2010

We take a look at the form of the clubs facing British opposition in this week's Champions League clashes, with Bremen, Zilina and Sporting Braga all enduring morale-sapping defeats.

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MSK Zilina (face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday November 23)

Senica 2-1 Zilina

Zilina looked as if they had turned things round after following their 7-0 Champions League drubbing by Marseille with three consecutive victories on home soil.

But that run came to an end on Friday night as the Slovakian league leaders went down 2-1 away at second-placed Senica.

Red-hot striker Tomas Oravec looked to have put Zilina on course for a victory when he scored early in the second half, but the defence then let Senica in twice in the final 25 minutes of the match.

Sporting Braga (face Arsenal at Estadio Municipal de Braga on Tuesday November 23)

Vitoria Guimares 2-1 Sporting Braga

Braga's shaky recent form continued at the weekend as they lost their third consecutive league match against Vitoria Guimares.

Brazilian-born striker Alan put Braga ahead after just 18 minutes, but Vitoria star Maranhaõ equalised just before the break.

As time ticked on the match looked set to end in a draw, but Braga defender Miguel Garcia's late own goal handed his side a defeat - not a great confidence-booster as his team prepares to host a side who beat them 6-0 last time out.

Werder Bremen (face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Wednesday November 24)

Schalke 4-0 Werder Bremen

After following up their last Champions League match (a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of FC Twente) with a horrific 6-0 drubbing by Stuttgart, Bremen appeared to have at least steadied the ship by battling to a point against Frankfurt just over a week ago.

A weekend clash against struggling Schalke seemed like a good chance to turn things round properly - but instead, it was Schalke who turned things round for themselves as they thrashed Bremen 4-0, the extravagant scoreline coming courtesy of a hat-trick by former Real Madrid legend Raul.

In addition to their domestic worries, Bremen are still winless in this season's Champions League - and a trip to White Hart Lane to face a buoyant Spurs side will be a daunting prospect.

Rangers v Manchester United (at Ibrox on Wednesday November 24)

Kilmarnock 2-3 Rangers

Rangers might have picked up three points against Kilmarnock, but they failed to impress with the manner of their victory against wasteful 10-man opposition.

The home side scored twice through Conor Sammon and should have at least had a point out of the match - but Rangers won thanks to a Kenny Miller hat-trick that consisted of a pair of spot kicks and a late winner.

Yet even Walter Smith conceded that his side had been uninspiring victors, and called on his men to pull their socks up in time to entertain Manchester United.

Manchester United 2-0 Wigan

A lacklustre Manchester United were gifted a victory as Wigan had two men sent off at the weekend.

Alex Ferguson's side were struggling at Old Trafford despite going a goal ahead through Patrice Evra's header, but when Antolin Alcaraz and Hugo Rodallega were both sent off early in the second half United looked safe.

Javier Hernandez scored a stunning diving header late on to secure the points, but United looked vulnerable - and even Wayne Rooney looked lifeless after coming off the bench to make his return from injury.


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