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Werder Bremen went a long way toward securing a place in the group stage of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Sampdoria at the Weser Stadion on Wednesday. Clemens Fritz (pictured), Torsten Frings and Claudio Pizarro scored for the home side with only a Giampaolo Pazzini goal in the 90th minute as consolation for Samp. That away goal does carry quite a bit of weight going into the second leg, particularly if Sampdoria can keep Bremen from scoring. One goal in Italy next week though, and the German side are all but through. Bremen of course played without Mesut Özil for the first time since his move to Real Madrid earlier in the week.

Here are the other results from the second day of first leg Champions League playoff ties:

Red Bull Salzburg 2 – Hapoel Tel-Aviv 3
Basel 1 – Sheriff 0
Partizan 2 – Anderlecht 2
Braga 1 – Sevilla 0

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