Johannes Eggestein scored the only goal of the game as Werder Bremen beat Hoffenheim 1-0 to keep the European door ajar for Florian Kohfeldt’s side.
Hoffenheim 0-1 Bremen
Goals: 0-1 J. Eggestein (39’)
Bremen will have been buoyed by coming from two goals down to draw with title challengers Borussia Dortmund last time out, and they started brightly in Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann's final home game. Milot Rashica saw an effort deflect wide and Niklas Moisander headed a corner into Oliver Baumann’s gloves before the first five minutes were up. The hosts settled after those early scares, though, with Kerem Demirbay driving them forward from midfield. Adam Szalai was the first to threaten for TSG, the big Hungary striker steering Joshua Brenet’s cross just past the post. Andrej Kramaric was then the width of the Bremen post away from bagging his 17th goal of the season, but it was Bremen who drew first blood, Eggestein the younger capitalising on a defensive mix-up to nod home Rashica’s cross for 1-0. Johannes’s elder brother Maximilian thought he had added his own name to the scoresheet on the stroke of half-time, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Nagelsmann attempted to shore things up by sending Christoph Baumgartner on for the more attacking Nadiem Amiri for the second half. With no shots conceded, nor converted, with the hour mark approaching, seven-goal Joelinton then entered the fray, replacing Szalai for his first appearance since March. It was Bremen’s late change which looked most likely to impact the game, though. Claudio Pizarro replaced the injured Rashica just past the hour, and minutes later set Yuya Osako clear on the counter, but the Japan forward lost his balance and fired wide of the near post. Hoffenheim piled on the pressure in the last 20 minutes, but the closest they came was a Kramaric volley which he fired straight at Baumann's opposite number Jiri Pavlenka.
- Johannes Eggestein scored his fourth Bundesliga goal, and first with his head.
- Pizarro made his 300th competitive appearance for Bremen.
- Bremen have scored at least once in 32 of their 33 league outings this season.
- Die Grün-Weißen are two points away from Wolfsburg – who occupy the final European place – with three left to play for.
- This was Nagelsmann’s first defeat to Werder as Hoffenheim coach. He had won two and drawn four of their previous meetings.
- Hoffenheim can also still sneak into next season’s UEFA Europa League. They have just one point to make up on the Wolves despite this defeat.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Kaderabek, Bicakcic, Vogt (c), Brenet - Demirbay (Nelson 74'), Grillitsch, Amiri (Baumgartner 46’) – Kramaric – Belfodil, Szalai (Joelinton 57’)
Unused subs: Stolz, Rupp, Bittencourt, Adams
Out: Geiger (groin), Hübner (back), Posch (suspended), Schulz (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie (Friedl 25’), Veljkovic, Moisander (c), Augustinsson – M. Eggestein, Sahin, Möhwald – Osako, J. Eggestein (Langkamp 87'), Rashica (Pizarro 61’)
Unused subs: Kapino, Bejimo, Sargent, Johannsson
Out: Bargfrede (thigh), Bartels (thigh), Harnik (illness), Klaassen (suspended), Kruse (thigh)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt