Berlin bliss for Servette
Servette Geneva have blasted their way into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup with an unexpected 3-0 away win over German top division side Hertha Berlin.
"I don't want to pick out any individual player," said delighted Servette coach Lucien Favre after Thursday's third round second leg match. "Everyone played admirably."
"The win was deserved and logical," Favre added as his team celebrated their achievement in becoming the first Swiss club in 12 years to stretch a European campaign into springtime.
After being held to a 0-0 draw in Geneva two weeks ago, Servette made a dream start to Thursday's return leg with Brazilian defender Hilton heading in the first goal after only 17 minutes.
Just seconds later, Servette found themselves with a one-man advantage after Hertha's Dick van Burik was sent off following a tackle from behind on Swiss international striker Alex Frei.
Maintaining their own discipline well for the remainder of the first half, the Swiss team doubled the lead four minutes after the break with Frei latching onto a great pass from Goran Obradovic, before calmly slotting the ball past Christian Fiedler in the Berlin goal.
With 20 minutes to go, Obradovic then made sure of victory, heading in off the rebound after seeing a Sebastien Fournier freekick strike the home team's crossbar.
Having seen his team beat European champions Bayern Munich in the German league just four days previously, Hertha coach Jürgen Röber denied having underestimated Servette.
"There can be absolutely no question of that," Röber insisted. "The demands of the past week, the early goal we conceded and the red card we picked up - those were the things that counted against us in the end."
by Mark Ledsom
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