Augsburg pull into top half with 2-1 win over Werder Bremen
Ruben Vargas and Florian Niederechner were on target - the latter for the 11th time this season - as Augsburg got a monkey off their back with a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen
Augsburg 2-1 Bremen
Goals: 0-1 Jedvaj (o.g. 23') 1-1 Niederlechner (67'), 2-1 Vargas (82')
Augsburg's first-choice goalkeeper Tomas Koubek was a late pull-out for Augsburg due to flu, but the hosts did a good job of keeping the ball away from his deputy Andreas Luthe early on, with Philipp Max keeping Jiri Pavlenka busy at the other end with a couple of rasping drives. Felix Uduokhai then had what would have been a rare goal ruled out after consultation with VAR revealed Niederlechner - a rather more regular goalscorer for Die Fuggerstädter - had fouled Milot Rashica in the build-up. Instead Bremen opened the scoring midway through the half when Jeffrey Gouweleeuw tried to clear Davie Selke's attempt only to see the ball bounce back off Tin Jedvaj and into the home goal for 1-0.
Augsburg coach Martin Schmidt sent Alfred Finnbogason on for the second half in place of Andre Hahn in an attempt to add some attacking verve but Max looked their most likely source of an equaliser, bombing up the left flank and trying to get things going be it with a cross or a shot until Niederlechner got his name on the scoresheet for the 11th time this season, cutting inside and sending a deflected effort beyond Pavlenka. Vargas then secured all three points for the hosts, sprinting up the left before curling home the winner.
- With 11 goals in 21 games, Niederlechner has already matched his best Bundesliga campaign to date - 2016/17 - when he scored the same number in 34 games with Freiburg.
- Augsburg had lost their previous four meetings with Bremen with Florian Kohfeldt in the Green-White's dugout, conceding 12 goals.
- Vargas scored his fourth goal of the season, and first since September's reverse fixture - a 3-2 win for Bremen.
- Werder debutant Nick Woltemade had scored 13 goals in 13 games for the club's U19s coming into this game.
- Bremen are now in the automatic relegation places with 17 points, one fewer than Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Augsburg: Luthe – Jedvaj, Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Max – Khedira (Löwen 78'), Baier (c) – Richter, Hahn (Finnbogason 46'), Vargas (Framberger 86') – Niederlechner
Unused subs: Leneis, Lichtsteiner, Suchy, Moravek, Sarenren Bazee, Gruezo
Out: Cordova (ankle), Iago (international duty), Schieber (muscular)
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Bremen: Pavlenka – Toprak, Vogt, Moisander (c) – M. Eggestein, Sahin (Groß 80'), Klaassen, Bittencourt (Sargent 87') – Rashica – Woltemade (Bartels 58'), Selke
Unused subs: Plogmann, Osako, Pizarro, J. Eggestein, Rieckmann, Goller
Out: Augustinsson (thigh), Bargfrede (calf), Friedl (suspended), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Gebre Selassie (groin), Lang (thigh), Langkamp (knee), Möhwald (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
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