fc internazionale milano midfielder esteban cambiasso expects a tough test against sv werder bremen but thinks the champions will get their first win in this season's competition.
champions fc internazionale milano will aim to register their first victory in this season's uefa champions league when they take on sv werder bremen at san siro on wednesday, although midfielder esteban cambiasso is expecting another tough test. "we have always had hard games against them, home and away," the argentinian international said.
the nerazzurri were held to a 2-2 draw at fc twente in their opening group a fixture, and suffered a domestic setback on saturday, losing 1-0 to as roma. cambiasso acknowledges the serie a titleholders have issues to iron out, yet is quietly confident. "it's inevitable to have some problems, it happens every year," the former real madrid cf player explained. "but at the end of the season, the club that has managed to solve its problems ends up celebrating trophies. we're not worried at all."
cambiasso was a key part of josé mourinho's historic treble-winning side last term, and remains an important figure under new boss rafael benítez. the experienced ball-winner, 30, is keen to reassure supporters after the roma loss. "i want our fans to know we have no fear," he said. "we have a winning mentality and, even if we have problems sometimes, they have to know we face up to them. we're not indifferent. we analysed saturday's match and have talked about it. we have a group of players who are ambitious and want to win, and personally i think we're in an enviable position. we've already won a trophy [the italian super cup] this season."
with bremen also drawing their opening group game 2-2, against tottenham hotspur fc, the section could not be tighter. thomas schaaf's men have already claimed a notable scalp in italy after edging past uc sampdoria in the uefa champions league play-offs, and cambiasso is taking nothing for granted. "bremen are a strong team with a strong mentality and they showed it in the play-offs when everybody thought they were going to be eliminated. they have good forwards and we will have to pay attention as usual."
benítez will give late fitness tests to strikers diego milito and goran pandev but is without injured captain javier zanetti. schaaf has problems of his own, with several key players out, including torsten frings and claudio pizarro. "both teams are missing important players," cambiasso said. "but i'm sure the players who come into our side will play well."
samuel eto'o scored three and set up another for wesley sneijder as the holders impressed in group a.
a stand-out performance from samuel eto'o inspired fc internazionale milano to a comprehensive uefa champions league group a success against sv werder bremen.
the striker scored twice before the break and also set up wesley sneijder for inter's third first-half goal. eto'o rounded off the scoring nine minutes from time, sending the holders top of their section, level on points with tottenham hotspur fc.
the opening exchanges gave little indication of what was to follow as, with barely three minutes gone, hugo almeida caught the nerazzurri napping, raced onto a through ball and lobbed júlio césar, who had advanced out of his area. almeida's shot lacked the power to beat lucio to the goal, but a minute later the portugal forward gave inter's no1 a sterner test with a venomous free-kick the goalkeeper turned wide.
inter soon responded, uefa champions league debutant jonathan biabiany running onto esteban cambiasso's pass and crossing for coutinho only for the teenager to direct his free header wide. another slick move ensued, coutinho cutting inside after receiving sneijder's cross-field ball, exchanging possession with eto'o and threading a clever pass to sneijder, who was denied by tim wiese.
at the other end almeida squandered a glorious chance after tim borowski swung over an inviting right-wing cross, but the momentum was with the hosts.
within moments inter were ahead, cambiasso dispossessing daniel jensen and sending eto'o through to slip the ball under wiese. eto'o was in irrepressible form and doubled his tally on 27 minutes when lucio sent him clear. his control was sublime and his finish ruthless.
dejan stanković was the next player to force the besieged wiese into action on the half-hour with a clever chip and, with bremen rocking, the ubiquitous eto'o's next act was to curl a pass into the path of sneijder, who finished high into the far corner.
die grün-weissen's best effort of the second period came on 52 minutes when wesley's curler was well saved by luca castellazzi, on for júlio césar at half-time. the hosts were now comfortable, although their evening suffered a setback when lucio was carried off with a seemingly serious knee injury.
but for another wiese save coutinho could have extended the lead after dancing into the area. instead the glory was left to eto'o, who completed his hat-trick by latching on to sneijder's pass, rounding wiese and sliding the ball into the empty net.
bremen: tim wiese (gk), wesley, tim borowski (dk. 46 petri pasanen), marko arnautović, marko marin (dk. 63 aaron hunt), sebastian prödl, mikaël silvestre, daniel jensen, hugo almeida (dk. 78 sandro wagner), per mertesacker (c), philipp bargfrede
yedekler: sebastian mielitz (gk), said husejinović, felix kroos, dominik schmidt