WATCH: FÜLLKRUG ON HIS STRIKE PARTNERSHIP WITH DUCKSCH
BREMEN TAKE THE SPOILS!
It's something of a smash-and-grab win for Bremen, who were second best for much of the match, but they were savvy and, above all, more clinical with the few chances they created. The result means they climb above Hoffenheim in the standings and are fourth in the table overnight. Not bad for a promoted side!
NEVER IN DOUBT
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LATE BREMEN SHOW AGAIN
Werder have now netted a league-high nine goals in the final 15 minutes this season - each of theirs has even come after the 82nd minute!
FÜLLKRUG PUTS BREMEN AHEAD!
It's the 29-year-old's eighth Bundesliga goal of the season - and third from the penalty spot - as he sends Baumann diving the wrong way before coolly slotting the ball into the goalkeeper's bottom-left corner.
PENALTY TO BREMEN!
Nsoki brings down Weiser with a slide tackle as he charges into the box. Referee Cortus checks VAR on his pitch-side monitor and gives the visitors a spot-kick!
TARGET PRACTICE NEEDED
VITAL VOGT BLOCK!
Bremen break forward and when the ball is played to Ducksch in the middle, he looks certain to score from 16 yards out. Vogt has read the danger though and lunges himself in the way, blocking Ducksch's effort before Baumann is called to intervene.
BREMEN'S GOLDEN PERIOD
Werder have scored more goals (eight) in the final 15 minutes of games than any other Bundesliga team this season. Can they add to that tally here?
English youngster Buchanan comes on for his seventh Bundesliga appearance. He came off the bench to score a vital goal on Matchday 3 when Bremen turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win in Dortmund...
CHANCE FOR WEISER!
After a cross from the Bremen right is too long, Füllkrug recycles possession at the back post. He spies the unmarked Weiser arriving into the box in a central position and cuts the ball back to him, but the wing-back doesn't make a clean connection with his shot and holds his head in despair as the ball bobbles harmlessly wide.
Kramaric, who has been quiet by his standards, is replaced by the more explosive Rutter, while Skov makes way for Kaderabek on the right.
SKOV GOES CLOSE
Skov whips in a cross from the right, looking for Kramaric. The striker can't get his head on it and it bounces through towards goal, but Pavlenka managed to push it away.
HOFFENHEIM EDGING IT
© IMAGO/Oliver Zimmermann/IMAGO/foto2press
Bremen boss Werner brings on the more attack-minded Bittencourt for the last half hour as they bid to take all three points.
Statistically speaking, the away side shouldn't have scored yet according to the expected goals metric. They're yet to have a shot in the second half, while Hoffenheim have already taken three.
BREMEN AHEAD OF THE CURVE
BAUMGARTNER TESTS PAVLENKA
The Austrian skips away from Weiser down the Hoffenheim left and charges into the box. He looks for support in the middle but is all on his own, so shoots from a tight angle and sees his near-post effort well saved by Pavlenka.
GEIGER HAS A GO
The midfielder shoots low from just outside the box but it's no trouble for Pavlenka.
NO WAY THROUGH
Both teams are trying to win the midfield battles early in this half as they set out their stalls. No goalmouth action at either end as yet.
ON WE GO!
Bremen get the second half under way.
ALL SQUARE AT THE BREAK
Hoffenheim were the better side early on but were caught off guard by Bremen's opener, which was the result of some brilliant link-up play between Füllkrug and Ducksch. The hosts soon got back on track though, and equalised through Dabbur's fine finish on the counter. Werder grew into the game as the half wore on, leaving all to play for in the second 45 minutes.
OVER FROM KRAMARIC
Angelino's cross from the left is only partially headed clear and the ball bounces nicely for Kramaric. It's slightly behind him and on his weaker left foot, and the Croatian can only skew a shot over the bar on the turn.
We're into the first of three extra minutes at the end of this half.
Robert Skov Niclas Füllkrug
DABBUR IN FORM
© Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images
FÜLLKRUG TAKES AIM
The Bremen forward hits a low, left-footed shot at goal from around 20 yards. There's plenty of pace behind it and Baumann does well to tip the ball around the post for a corner.
BAUMGARTNER OFF THE POST!
So close to a second there from the midfielder as he cuts in from the left and slams a shot off the left-hand upright. It wouldn't have counted anyway as the referee's assistant has his flag raised for offside in the build-up.
A textbook counter from the home side, who went from defending to scoring within a matter of seconds. The ball is worked quickly up the pitch, with Geiger biding his time before playing the killer pass through to Dabbur, who goes one-on-one with Pavlenka and dinks in the equaliser over the goalkeeper.
This is only the second time this season that Hoffenheim have been 1-0 down; the first occasion was the 1-0 defeat by Dortmund on Matchday 5. There is hope of a comeback though: Bremen have thrown away a lead a league-high three times this season, drawing two and losing one.
DUCKSCH COMING GOOD
© Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images
HOFFENHEIM TRYING TO REPLY
The hosts are looking to hit back straight away and they're finding space centrally, with Kramaric often dropping deep to collect possession. It's been just a tad too ponderous from them though when trying to find the final pass.
OUT OF THE BLUE!
There had been precious little to see from Bremen in the final third until now! Ducksch strides forward, plays a quick one-two with Füllkrug and then places a side-footed shot into the bottom corner past Baumann from just inside the area!
© IMAGO/Heiko Becker/IMAGO/HMB-Media
Hoffenheim have had two decent efforts on goal, although nothing to seriously worry visiting goalkeeper Pavlenka. His opposite number Baumann has largely been a spectator so far.
Promising build-up from Hoffenheim as their one-touch play allows them to escape Bremen's press and move up the pitch at pace. Baumgartner flicks it into Kramaric, who tries to play a return pass to the Austrian but they had different ideas: Kramaric's pass went one way, while Baumgartner had move in a different direction.
As the central defender in Hoffenheim's back three, Vogt is keeping a close eye on Füllkrug and is stepping up to close him down immediately whenever the Bremen forward receives the ball. It's worked well so far.
OVER FROM BAUMGARTNER!
Next chance for the hosts, this time for Baumgartner. Again it stems from an attack down their right, with Baumgartner chopping on to his left foot and hitting a strike over the bar.
HOME SIDE ON TOP
FIRST CHANCE FOR SKOV!
The Hoffenheim wide man is allowed to charge forward into space down the right before cutting inside and letting fly with a fierce drive that whistles narrowly wide of the far post.
HERE WE GO!
Hoffenheim get the ball rolling on Matchday 9!
WATCH: ALL SET AT THE PREZERO ARENA
TEAM NEWS - HOFFENHEIM
Andre Breitenreiter has only made one change to his team in the wake of last week's 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin, with Skov replacing Kaderabek at right wing-back. The Dane was in the Hoffenheim starting line-up between Matchdays 2 and 5.
TEAM NEWS - BREMEN
Ole Werner has named an unchanged side following last week's 5-1 thrashing of Gladbach, with Stark retaining his place at the back ahead of Pieper, who is available again following suspension. Seven-goal talisman Füllkrug leads the charge up front.
WATCH: A GLIMPSE INSIDE HOFFENHEIM'S CHANGING ROOM
HOFFENHEIM STARTING XI
Baumann (c) - Kabak, Vogt, Nsoki - Skov, Prömel, Geiger, Angelino - Baumgartner - Kramaric, Dabbur
Philipp, Kaderabek, Bruun Larsen, Stiller, Rudy, Becker, Akpoguma, Quaresma, Rutter
BREMEN STARTING XI
Pavlenka - Stark, Veljkovic, Friedl (c) - Weiser, Schmid, Groß, Gruev, Jung - Füllkrug, Ducksch
Zetterer, Pieper, Stage, Burke, Bittencourt, Schmidt, Goller, Buchanan, Agu
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING - HOFFENHEIM
"Bremen have a clear way of playing, very defined actions," said Hoffenheim boss Andre Breitenreiter. "The team is disciplined and that currently makes them strong opposition. We want to neutralise exactly that and show our strengths. Ducksch and Füllkrug complement each other very well. They are a dangerous attacking duo and we need to be ready for them. But it is also clear that we are TSG, we have a home match and want to come out confident."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING - BREMEN
"We always attempt to play attacking football," said Bremen head coach Ole Werner at his pre-match press conference. "We have some strong players up front and try to set our game plan around that accordingly."
WATCH OUT FOR THE FLANKS!
© IMAGO/Pressefoto Rudel/Robin Rudel/IMAGO/Sportfoto Rudel
WATCH: FÜLLKRUG ON FIRE
Bremen have 44 goals to Hoffenheim's 43 across their meetings to date. That equates to 3.35 goals per game on average.
WATCH: PREVIOUS MEETING: HOFFENHEIM 4-0 BREMEN
This will be the 27th Bundesliga meeting between these teams. Bremen have won 10 and there have been 10 draws, with Hoffenheim taking maximum spoils on just six occasions. TSG did earn a 4-0 success the last time they locked horns though, in February 2021.
Only three teams (Frankfurt, Augsburg, Freiburg) have picked up more points than Bremen's seven over the last four Bundesliga games, with victories over Bochum and Gladbach book-ending a surprise defeat by Augsburg and a draw in Leverkusen. Only Bayern (23) have scored more goals than Bremen (18) this season, and Ole Werner's charges have found the net in every game but one. Hoffenheim are looking good too though, and are unbeaten in three ahead of kick-off. They also have 10 points from a possible 12 on home turf this season.
WATCH: GET READY FOR HOFFENHEIM VS. BREMEN
Hello and thanks for joining us for live build-up and coverage of the Matchday 9 curtain-raiser between high-flying Hoffenheim and a free-scoring Werder Bremen side. Stay tuned for team news and plenty more besides!