Niclas Füllkrug’s first brace of the season earned Werder Bremen all three points at bottom-placed Bochum, whose wait for a first point of the season continues.
Bochum boss Thomas Reis made several changes to his starting XI, but one man he could not consider changing was goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, who raced off his line to save his defence’s blushes and clear from the feet of Marvin Ducksch to avert the first sign of danger. He then made another save to deny Ducksch, with the home fans duly paying tribute to their No.1 as if he had scored. Jordi Osei-Tutu – who had lost the ball in the build-up to Ducksch’s effort – tried to make amends with Bochum’s first shot of the game at the other end, but Jiri Pavlenka had no trouble dealing with the tame strike. As the first half drew to a close, Niklas Schmidt went closer than anybody when he powered a free-kick against the inside of the right-hand post, with Riemann relieved to see the rebound cross his goalmouth and roll away from danger.
Riemann and Ducksch renewed their rivalry as the second half got underway, the Bochum custodian coming out on top twice more. He made another stop from the Bremen No.7 before diving low to his left to turn a Romano Schmid effort wide. A rare Bochum attack almost ended in a goal for Simon Zoller, whose header was saved by Pavlenka, although a nudge in a defender’s back may have seen the goal ruled out anyway. Osei-Tutu returned an earlier favour to Riemann by deflecting a Ducksch shot wide as Bochum continued to withstand the pressure. Withstand it they did, and they thought they had snatched victory when Philipp Hofmann deflected the ball in after Kevin Stöger’s cross was struck against him by Marco Friedl, but a VAR check confirmed he had handled the ball and the goal was struck off. From joy to despair within a matter of minutes, Füllkrug silenced the home fans by heading in Mitchell Weiser's cross, and he rubbed salt in the wound with a second in stoppage time. Bochum thought they were back in the game in stoppage time, but another VAR check saw another goal ruled out, with Hofmann drifting into an offside position. It summed up Bochum's day and their season so far - no return for all their effort, as Bremen's impressive return to the Bundesliga continues.
- Ducksch had more shots (eight) than in any previous Bundesliga game; he had a total of seven shots spread over the first four games of the season. Only Bayern's Leroy Sane had had as many shots in a single Bundesliga fixture this season.
- Bochum had a season-best 18 shots on goal in this game, but still failed to score.
- Riemann has saved 20 penalties in Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 since 2013, including two this season. That’s more penalty stops than any other goalkeeper in Germany’s top two divisions across the same period.
- Bremen striker Füllkrug has a team-leading five goals after five matches.
- Werner’s Bremen have lost only one of their last 13 away games in all competitions.
Watch: Niclas Füllkrug reflects on a "deserved win"
Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa, Masovic, Lampropoulos, Osei-Tutu (Ordets 89')- Losilla (c), Förster (Osterhage 71') - Asano, Stöger, Holtmann (Hofmann 65') – Zoller (Antwi-Adjei, 71')
Unused subs: Esser, Oermann, Horn, Mousset
Out: Goralski (muscular), Grave (shoulder), Heintz (muscular), Soares (hip), Stafylidis, Janko (groin)
Coach: Thomas Reis
Bremen: Pavlenka - Pieper (Stark 77'), Veljkovic, Friedl (c) - Weiser, Schmid, Groß (Gruev 90'), Schmidt (Stage 74'), Jung - Füllkrug, Ducksch (Burke 74')
Unused subs: Zetterer, Rapp, Goller, Agu, Chiarodia
Out: Bittencourt (ribs), Dinkci (match fitness), Mbom (Achilles), Salifou (abductor)
Coach: Ole Werner
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