So in the end it was a classic case of â€œif youâ€™d offered me a point before the game Iâ€™d have taken it but nowâ€¦â€.
We started with skill and tempo and thoroughly deserved the early two goal lead. Champions League? Whatâ€™s all the fuss about? We were holding possession, winning tackles and attacking with verve.
Werder responded to our domination by making a tactical sub on the half hour mark and the balance of the game tilted gently towards the Germans. The stupidly soft goal we gave away just before the break let them back into it and Frings went from bad to worse when Marin equalised at the start of the second half. All of sudden it was raining Bremen. We were struggling and appeared to be just waiting for the home team to strike again until Harry made a tactical sub of his own with 15 minutes left, swapping the ineffectual Lennon for Palacios. We were back in charge for the remainder of the game and Crouch shouldâ€™ve won it late on.
Bale gave another superb skilful and energy filled display. With Lennon in the form heâ€™s in we often look like a one trick team going forward but what a trick it is. Crouch was tenacious in leading the line on his own and scored with a great header. Other standout performances came from Kaboul, the much maligned Jenas, Van der Vaart and, apart from one very obvious error, Assou-Ekotto. Redknapp too deserves a mention for going with Kaboul and Jenas above Gallas and Palacios. Kaboul appears to have learnt something about positioning and concentration whilst JJ too has upped his game now that heâ€™s slipped so far down the midfield pecking order.
Marin looked a terrific player for them and Corlukaâ€™s lack of pace was often exposed. Pushing forward in the first half he supported Lennon well, the reverse wasnâ€™t true when the Germans took control in the second and we were pegged back. It wasnâ€™t until Palacios came on that we staunched their progress down our right.
Weâ€™ve a big, good quality squad but itâ€™s in danger of getting stretched to the limit if we keep picking up these injuries. Van der Vaartâ€™s calf strain is the last thing we need given Modricâ€™s stop/start beginning to the season. One player we definitely need back and fully fit is Gomes. Cudicini looks ok but is not in the same bracket as the Brazilian. The first goal might have been prevented by a keeper more determined to control his six yard area.
The result in Holland probably wasnâ€™t the best for us. Assuming that Inter are going to qualify weâ€™d like them to take as many points as possible from Twente and Werder. Still, weâ€™ve picked up a good point of our own and certainly our first half performance will give the others in the group something to think about.
Wolves on Saturday. Oh no!
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