Germany winger Piotr Trochowski drew first blood for Hamburg in the first-leg of the all-German UEFA Cup semi-final as his winning goal sealed a 1-0 win at Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen on Thursday.
This was the second of four derbies between the north Germany neighbours who have met each other in the German Cup last week, play twice in consecutive weeks in the UEFA Cup before meeting again in the Bundesliga on May 10.
It was sweet revenge for visitors Hamburg after their German Cup semi-final heart-break the previous week at the hands of Bremen.
Goalkeeper Tim Wiese had been Werder’s hero the week before when his three consecutive saves in the penalty shoot-out at Hamburg knocked the hosts out of the German Cup and put his side in the final on May 30.
Not since 1989 have two German teams reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and this was this first time in 26 years Hamburg have reached a Euro semi-final since they beat Juventus 1-0 to win the 1983 European Cup.
Hamburg went ahead here when midfielder Guy Demel crossed the ball in from the right and Trochowski headed home from close-range giving Wiese no chance on 28 minutes.
It was 1-0 to the guests at half-time and Hamburg’s Bayern Munich-bound striker Ivica Olic had the chance to put his side further ahead when he broke into acres of space just after the hour mark, but fired straight at Wiese.
Moments later Peru striker Jose Paolo Guerrero earned himself a yellow card and will be suspended from the return leg at Hamburg’s HSH Nordbank Arena next Thursday.
With time running out, Werder raised the tempo to try and earn an all-important away goal, but Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost was not to be beaten.
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