Cologne - Northern rivals SV Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV gave their survival hopes a timely boost on Matchday 19, but top-seven hopefuls Hannover 96 could only manage a draw against improving 1. FSV Mainz 05.

bundesliga.com rounds up the midweek action...

Wednesday

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-2 SV Werder Bremen


SV Werder Bremen celebrated their second straight win of 2015 after a hard-fought 2-1 success at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

The visitors went in front when man of the moment Franco Di Santo lashed in the opener, and although Ermin Bicakcic restored parity before the break, Philipp Bargfrede proved the thorn in Hoffenheim’s side once again by striking a second-half winner.

TSG out of luck


In Di Santo, Bremen boast one of the league’s most dangerous goalscorers on current form, and it was hardly a surprise that the Argentine struck the opening goal, latching onto a loose ball to fire home his third goal of 2015. It was the price Hoffenheim paid for a slow start to the game, but they were level shortly before the break when Bicakcic headed home a flick-on from a corner.

Markus Gisdol’s men would have been confident of taking the game to their opponents in the second half, but in Bargfrede, Bremen had another good luck charm, and after more good work from Di Santo, the 25-year-old sent a low shot past the keeper with the aid of a deflection to settle the points, ensuring that three of his four Bundesliga goals have now come against the Sinsheimers.

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SC Paderborn 07 0-3 Hamburger SV


Hamburger SV moved two points clear of the relegation zone thanks to a priceless 3-0 win away to fellow strugglers SC Paderborn 07 on Wednesday.

Rafael van der Vaart fired home from the penalty spot to give HSV an early lead, with Marcell Jansen and Zoltan Stieber making the points safe in the second half.

Early doors


Hamburg ended a run of 396 minutes of Bundesliga action without a goal inside the opening 10 seconds at the Benteler Arena after Patrick Ziegler brought down Jansen in the box and van der Vaart dispatched the resultant penalty. Moritz Stoppelkamp warmed the palms of Jaroslav Drobny in response, before Nicolai Müller and Stieber went close to making it two at the other end.

The Paderborn fans got right behind their side in the second half and were almost given reason to celebrate when Elias Kachunga lifted the ball over Drobny, only to see his deft lob come back off the crossbar. Hamburg rode the storm, though, eventually doubling their lead in the 71st minute when Jansen was allowed to swivel in the box and fire beyond Kruse. The electric Stieber punctuated a clinical display with the port city club’s third in injury time.

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Tuesday

Hannover 96 1-1 1. FSV Mainz 05


1. FSV Mainz 05 continued their unbeaten start to the Rückrunde after Elkin Soto's late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw at Hannover 96.

Tayfun Korkut's side took the lead halfway through the first period when Jimmy Briand poked home his second Bundesliga goal from a Hiroshi Kiyotake corner. Hannover, however, came to regret not making the most of their first-half domination when Mainz deservedly levelled through Soto in the 77th minute.

A tight affair


After losing narrowly in Gelsenkirchen on Matchday 18, Hannover almost broke the deadlock after just five minutes at the HDI Arena. Lars Stindl's effort was well saved by Loris Karius in the Mainz goal and Joselu blasted the follow-up wide. The impressive hosts resorted to using the flanks in search of the opener, and after Daniel Brosinski had cleared off the line in the 26th minute, the resulting Kiyotake corner was converted by Briand. Mainz came close through Pablo de Blasis in the 31st minute, but it was Hannover who should have gone into the break with a two-goal advantage when Joselu blazed over from Hiroki Sakai's cross.

The visitors made a quick start to the second half and came within inches of an equaliser in the 54th minute when Johannes Geis' 25-yard free kick struck the base of the post. Yunus Malli poked wide seven minutes later and although Hannover were rattled, they could have doubled their lead through Briand just after the hour mark. Korkut's side were made to pay for that spurned opportunity when, with 13 minutes remaining, Soto finally capitalised on his team's dominance, arriving late in the box to poke home and secure a point.

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