Kevin Volland got the visitors off to a flier, taking Roberto Firmino's well-weighted pass in his stride, rounding Bremen goalkeeper Raphael Wolf and tucking the ball into the the empty net inside three minutes. Firmino threatened a second, but Bremen began to settle and were soon level courtesy of Philipp Bargfrede's emphatic 25-yard volley.
Garcia in the thick of it
Undeterred, Hoffenheim continued to cause problems for Bremen's unconvincing back four through Volland and Firmino, but it was the hosts who squandered the best opportunity to get their noses in front when Franco Di Santo failed to make contact with Santiago Garcia's telling cross. The visitors went straight up the other end with substitute Jiloan Hamad, who shot narrowly wide.
The game was there for the taking, and it was Bremen who seized their chance as Garcia nodded Aaron Hunt's inswinging corner beyond the reach of Jens Grahl with 11 minutes left of the clock. Hoffenheim had the opportunity to level from he spot when when Garcia scythed down Anthony Modeste in the box, but Wolf denied Sejad Salihovc, leaving Nils Petersen to wrap up the points and propel Robin Dutt's men nine points clear of the bottom three with three games left to play.
Line-ups and statistics