Rani Khedira and Daniel Caligiuri were on target as Augsburg beat Werder Bremen 2-0 to secure their Bundesliga status for another season.
Augsburg began the match in vibrant fashion, without really threatening Jiri Pavlenka's goal, but their task was made significantly harder less than 15 minutes into the action when Ruben Vargas was given his marching orders for kicking out at Theodor Gebre Selassie, who was trying to ward off a counter-attack. Josh Sargent had a gilt-edged opportunity to take full advantage minutes later when Rafal Gikiewicz spilled a delivery into his box, but the American's shot deflected wide for a corner. Davie Selke then headed a chance narrowly over the crossbar as Bremen poured on the pressure. The visitors ended the half with 60 percent of possession and five attempts on goal, but referee Robert Schröder's whistle for half-time went with the deadlock intact, nonetheless.
Bremen's numerical superiority was short-lived, though, with Christian Groß following Vargas down the tunnel three minutes after the restart, picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Florian Niederlechner. Niclas Füllkrug should still have given Bremen the lead minutes later, but he failed to gamble when the ball fell to him at Augsburg's back post. Khedira - playing his final home game for Augsburg before making a summer switch to Union Berlin - then volleyed a fine attempt just past the top corner at the other end. He did then open the scoring, in rather more mundane fashion, moments later, getting the break of the ball in the box following a corner. Marco Richter then went looking for a penalty which only earned him a booking from Schröder. There was still time for Caligiuri to add gloss to the scoreline, though, the second-half substitute firing home a last-minute penalty.
- Khedira scored his first Bundesliga goal since April 2019, when he helped Augsburg to a 6-0 win over VfB Stuttgart.
- Vargas's red card was the first of his senior career; as was Groß's for Bremen.
- Augsburg have won 10 of their 20 Bundesliga meetings with Bremen, making them their favourite top-flight opponents alongside Mainz.
- Sargent has scored a career-best five Bundesliga goals so far this season, but hasn’t fired in his last eight.
- Bremen have only recorded seven wins all season, and are on course an unwanted club record for fewest victories in a single Bundesliga campaign.
- Scant consolation, perhaps, but Florian Kohfeldt has still recorded more wins against Augsburg than any other Bundesliga side (five in seven as a coach).
Augsburg: Gikiewicz - Gumny, Oxford, Gouweleeuw (c), Iago - Hahn (Gregoritsch 90'+3) Moravek (Benes 71'), Khedira, Vargas - Richter (Caligiuri 70'), Niederlechner (Finnbogason 75')
Subs: Koubek, Pedersen, Suchy, Framberger, Strobl
Out: Gruezo (muscular), Jensen (knock), Uduokhai (ankle)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Toprak (Friedl 55'), Moisander (c), Augustinsson - Eggestein (Erras 90'+1), Groß, Bittencourt (Osako 81') - Sargent - Selke (Rashica 56'), Füllkrug
Subs: Zetterer, Möhwald, Agu, Mbom, Bargfrede
Out: Dinkci (suspended), Plogmann (knee), Veljkovic (match fitness), Woltemade (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt