Home Sports Bremen, Everton register facile wins in UEFA Cup

Bremen, Everton register facile wins in UEFA Cup


Hamburg : Werder Bremen and Everton were among the clubs who have registered comfortable wins in European football’s UEFA Cup round of 32 first-leg ties.

The tournament resumed after the winter break with plenty of goals Wednesday as the two third-placed clubs from the Champions League group phase – Bremen and Everton – joined the remaining 24 teams.

Goalkeeper Tim Wiese saved two penalties as Bremen beat Portuguese side Sporting Braga 3-0, thanks to first-half goals from Naldo and Daniel Jensen and a penalty at the death by Hugo Almeida.

Naldo put Bremen in front after just four minutes with a long range shot before Wiese saved Roland Linz’s spot kick to maintain the German side’s lead.

Jensen doubled Bremen’s advantage in the 27 minute with a shot from inside the penalty area. Nine minutes later, Wiese once again saved a penalty, this time from Jorginho.

Almeida completed the scoreline from a spot kick after Joao Pereira handled the ball inside the box.

“When we get penalties we have to convert them,” said Linz after the match. “Now it will be really tough for us in the return leg.”

In the other encounter, English Premier League (EPL) side Everton suffered a few scares away to Norwegian side Brann Bergen before second-half goals from Leon Osman and substitute Victor Anichebe gave David Moyes’ side a 2-0 victory.

Bergen enjoyed sustained bouts of pressure early on and Vaagan Moen looked to have put the home side in front directly from a corner just before half-time but Eirik Bakke was deemed to have fouled Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

However, once Osman broke the deadlock shortly before the hour mark with a superb effort from 20 metres, the result was never in doubt.

Everton’s second goal came from Anichebe, who tapped home a Joleon Lescott cross. Bergen now has a mountain to climb in the second leg at Goodison Park Feb 21 against a side that has now won six UEFA Cup games in succession.

Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, who like Bremen dropped down from the Champions League, proved too strong for Helsinborg, winning 2-0 thanks to a penalty from Timmy Simons and a right-footed effort from Danko Lazovic.

Russian side Zenit St Petersburg registered a slim 1-0 win on their home turf against Spain’s Villarreal. Pavel Pogrebnyak took advantage of a goalkeeping error by Villarreal custodian Diego Lopez to score the only goal of the game on the 63rd minute.

In other action, Sporting Lisbon beat Basel 2-0 and Bayer Leverkusen played out a scoreless away draw to Turkish side Galatasaray in snowy Istanbul. The tie between AEK Athens and Spanish side Getafe is finely poised after the match finished on 1-1.

Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers could only manage a scoreless draw at home to Greek side Panathinaikos, while Anderlecht beat Bordeaux 2-1 and Marseille overcame Spartak Moscow 3-0.

The UEFA Cup continues Thursday with six more round of 32 ties, the highlights of which are Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich’s trip to Scottish side Aberdeen and Slavia Prague’s tussle with Tottenham.