Late Schalke rally snatches win over Werder Bremen


Sepp van den Berg and Dominik Drexler scored late on for Schalke to complete a stunning comeback in a 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen that boosts their hopes of avoiding relegation.

Schalke 2-1 Bremen
Goals: 0-1 Ducksch 18' (assist: Weiser), 1-1 Van den Berg (81'), 2-1 Drexler 90'+2 (assist: Zalazar)

Bremen have steered well clear of the drop zone in their first campaign back in the top flight and they went into this match knowing that victory would leave them one step away from mathematical safety. They were the better side from the off and sliced Schalke open in the sixth minute when Jens Stage tore down the left and cut the ball back for Leonardo Bittencourt, whose goal-bound shot was blocked. Kenan Karaman dragged an effort wide shortly after with the hosts' only real chance of the half, but Marvin Ducksch showed him how it was done on 18 minutes when he swept home from Mitchell Weiser's clever pass. Maximilian Philipp could have given the visitors a more comfortable lead at the break but he sliced wide from 10 yards.

They would come to rue that miss, as Schalke grew into the game in the second half. Rodrigo Zalazar drew a reaction save from Jiri Pavlenka with a fierce snap-shot before Tom Krauß hit the crossbar moments later following a corner. The visitors retained an attacking menace though, and Bittencourt's curler following a brilliant run only narrowly missed the left-hand post. The closing stages were nervy for both sides as Schalke pushed for an equaliser and Bremen looked to see the win to the final whistle. The Royal Blues eventually got the reward their efforts deserved, even if their first goal came out of nothing when a throw-in was half cleared to the edge of the box, where van den Berg reacted fastest to steer a shot into the bottom corner. Schalke snatched the win in stoppage time when Zalazar floated a pass over the visiting defence to Drexler, whose run had gone unnoticed, and the 32-year-old coolly finished from close range to give Thomas Reis' side renewed hope of survival.

Match stats

  • Ducksch has scored in each of his last three competitive games against Schalke, registering four times in that period.
  • The striker has netted eight of his 12 league goals this term away from home. He is the league's top scorer in the second half of the season with nine.
  • Weiser now has nine assists this season, putting him third overall behind Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro (12) and Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani (10).
  • Schalke have had more shots on goal than Bremen this season (363 to 319) but scored 20 goals fewer (28 to 48).
  • Only RB Leipzig (13) have hit the woodwork more often than Schalke this season (11).
  • Van den Berg scored his first ever Bundesliga goal in what was his first league appearance since the start of October 2022.

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Schalke: Schwolow - Matriciani (van den Berg 77'), Yoshida (c), Kaminski, Uronen (Drexler 75') - Kral, Krauß - Karaman (Polter 74'), Zalazar, Bülter (Ouwejan 87') - Terodde (Frey 74')
Unused subs: Langer, Greiml, Latza, Mohr
Out: Balanta (knee), Brunner (shoulder), Fährmann (thigh), Heekeren (cruciate ligament), Jenz (thigh), Kozuki (ankle), Skarke (ankle)
Coach: Thomas Reis

Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic, Stark (Pieper 67'), Friedl (c) - Weiser, Bittencourt (Gruev 77'), Groß (Mbom 90+'3), Stage, Jung – Philipp (Schmidt 77'), Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Buchanan, Chiarodia, Salifou, Schmid
Out: Agu (patella tendon), Füllkrug (calf)
Coach: Ole Werner