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Cech: Mertesacker injury is a 'big blow'

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Schaaf: Werder's Champions League dream over

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf admits his side's hopes of Champions League qualification are over after they lost 1-0 to Schalke on Saturday.

That loss followed an embarrassing 2-1 home upset to Arminia Bielefeld in their first game back after the winter break and has led to calls for Schaaf's 10-year reign as Bremen coach to come to an end.

They lie 10th in the Bundesliga table, 10 points adrift of third-placed Hamburg.

"It is obvious and I don't have to be a genius to realise we have said goodbye to the top positions," he said.

"Now we have to try to see that we turn the corner and that we get more out of games like this.

"You have got to say that there was more in today's game for us."

Indeed, the performance could be what saves Schaaf's job - for the time being at least - as his side were unfortunate to come away from the Arena AufSchalke without at least a point.

Bremen were largely the better side but luck was again not on their side, according to general manager Klaus Allofs - the man to decide Schaaf's future.

He said: "We were at least as good as them, but small things bring all of our work into danger."

Schalke coach Fred Rutten had also been under pressure before the game, with his side just one place above Bremen, and he was relieved to have won thanks to Benedikt Howedes' second-half goal.

"I really don't care if it was a terrible game, the win was immensely important," he said.

Schalke defender Marcelo Bordon broke his hand in the match and is likely to be out for up to two weeks.

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