BREMEN - Werder Bremen sent Inter to their second consecutive Champions League defeat and booked their place in the first knockout round of the UEFA Cup, while the Nerazzurri qualify for the Champions League sixteen as runners-up in Group B after Panathinaikos beat Anorthosis in Athens.
Claudio Pizarro opened the scoring after half time, with Markus Rosenberg adding a second for the Germans before Zlatan Ibrahimovic reduced the gap in the closing minutes.
José Mourinho made sweeping changes to the side that beat Lazio at the weekend, opting for 4-3-3 with Quaresma and Mancini flanking Adriano in attack for Matchday 6 at the Weser Stadion. Zanetti started in midfield alongside Cambiasso and Muntari to equal Giuseppe Bergomi's club record of 117 European appearances, while Materazzi and Burdisso returned in defence.
Spurred on by a full house, Werder took the game to Inter but produced few clear-cut chances on goal in the opening forty-five, with Julio Cesar largely untroubled before his parry from Pizarro's flicked header on the stroke of half time.
Schaaf's side continued to dominate after the restart and Julio Cesar found himself busier, parrying a bullet shot from Pizarro before the Peruvian tucked home from Özil's cross in the 63rd minute.
Burdisso had a header cleared off the line by Fritz as the Nerazzurri tried to react, but Werder came pouring forward in search of a second and Julio Cesar kept out efforts from Özil, Franjes and Pizarro before Hunt missed the target by a matter of inches with a precise low finish.
Inter had a further chance through substitute Balotelli, who rose at the back post to head over Quaresma's cross, but the unrelentless Germans weren't finished and Özil was again the creator for their second, crossing low for Rosenberg to slide in off Julio Cesar's outstretched right hand.
Ibrahimovic, on for Adriano at the start of the second period, snatched a late lifeline for Inter with a splendid 20-yard curling shot from Maxwell's short pass.
The hosts could have added a third in stoppage time but Julio Cesar denied substitute Jensen with a diving save.
Werder Bremen 2-1 Inter (HT: 0-0)
Scorers: Pizarro 63, Rosenberg 81, Ibrahimovic 88.
Werder Bremen: 1 Wiese; 8 Fritz, 29 Mertesacker, 15 Prödl, 2 Boenisch; 22 Frings, 7 Franjes (25 Niemeyer 89), 14 Hunt; 11 Özil (20 Jensen 90+2); 24 Pizarro, 9 Rosenberg.
Subs not used: 33 Vander, 3 Pasanen, 5 Tosic, 6 Baumann, 17 Husejinovic.
Coach: Thomas Schaaf.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 2 Cordoba, 23 Materazzi (6 Maxwell 46), 16 Burdisso; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso, 20 Muntari (45 Balotelli 71); 77 Quaresma, 10 Adriano (8 Ibrahimovic 46), 33 Mancini.
Subs not used: 22 Orlandoni, 7 Figo, 11 Jimenez, 39 Santon.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Referee: Pieter Vink (Holland).
Booked: Frings 28, Muntari 69, Fritz 84, Balotelli 88.