Werder Bremen warmed-up in poor fashion for Tuesday's crunch UEFA Champions League clash at home to Dutch side FC Twente when they were beaten 3-2 at home by Nuremberg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Bremen need to beat the Dutch title-holders at home on Tuesday at the Weserstadion to keep their dreams of the Round of 16 alive and close the gap behind Group A leaders and holders Inter Milan and second-placed Spurs. But Bremen squandered a possible chance to go third in the German league and slumped to their fourth defeat of the season.
"After the early opening goal, we suddenly stopped being as threatening and dangerous," fumed Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf. "In the second half, we just made it too easy for our opponents. We lost too much focus and we have to work much, much harder."
Bremen took an early lead when Hugo Almeida was left unmarked at the far post and Germany winger Marko Marin found him with an accurate cross and the Portugal striker headed home after just five minutes.
But Nuremberg fought back as midfielder Ilkay Guendogan scored just before the half-time break, then fellow-midfielder Mehmet Ekici put the guests ahead on 47 minutes.
Nuremberg had numerous chances to extend their lead and scored their third goal when Guendogan scored his third goal in two games when he drilled in his shot on 73 minutes to compound Bremen's misery.
Werder's Claudio Pizarro pulled back a consolation goal in the 92nd minute, but it failed to save Bremen's blushes.