bundesliga

Injury-hit Werder Bremen battle to victory at Union Berlin

Davy Klaassen and Niclas Füllkrug were on the scoresheet as Werder Bremen earned three hard-fought points in a 2-1 win away to Union Berlin on Saturday.

Union Berlin 1-2 Werder Bremen
Goals: 0-1 
Klaassen (pen. 5'), 1-1 Andersson (pen. 14'), 1-2 Füllkrug (56')
Sent off: Subotic (89'), Sahin (90+1')

The wind still very much in their sails following the 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund prior to the international break, the hosts began boldly and had the first shot of the game inside the first 10 seconds. However, it was Bremen that took an early lead, Klaassen hammering in a penalty after being fouled by Christopher Lenz. Undeterred, Union stuck to their gameplan of tireless running, being aggressive in the tackles and looking for quick counters, and soon equalised when Sebastian Andersson converted from the penalty spot. It was an evenly balanced encounter for the remainder of the half, with Anthony Ujah going closest to adding to the scoreline with a snatched effort that fizzed over the bar.

There was plenty of goalmouth drama early in the second period too. Theodor Gebre Selassie won Bremen's second penalty of the match, but this time Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz pulled off a superb save to deny Klaassen. The home team's joy was short-lived, though, as Bremen edged ahead from the ensuing corner when Füllkrug powered in a close-range header from Nuri Sahin's delivery. Werder were determined not to let their lead slip this time, staying more compact at the back, even if Jiri Pavlenka was called upon to make two point-blank saves in the closing stages. Both teams ended a fiercely contested game with 10 men, with Neven Subotic and Sahin sent off shortly before the final whistle sounded, giving Bremen their second win of the season.

Match stats

  • Leo Bittencourt made his Bundesliga debut for Bremen in this game, meaning the 25-year-old has now represented five clubs in Germany's top flight (the others being Borussia Dortmund, Hannover, Cologne and Hoffenheim).
  • Klaassen's goal was the first penalty he had taken in the Bundesliga.
  • Bremen defender Christian Groß made his full Bundesliga debut at the age of 30, having spent the majority of his career in Germany's third and fourth divisions.
  • Andersson scored for the third consecutive league game, netting the first ever penalty Union were awarded in the Bundesliga.
  • Sahin now has three assists in four matches, a personal record for the midfielder this early in a season.
  • Pizarro made his 236th Bundesliga outing for Bremen in this match.

Line-ups

Union: Gikiewicz - Trimmel (c), Friedrich, Subotic, Lenz - Becker (Gogia 73'), Gentner (Abdullahi 84'), Andrich, Bülter - Ujah (Polter 67'), Andersson
Unused subs: Nicolas, Mees, Reichel, Kroos, Schmiedebach, Parensen
Out: Hübner (knee), Ingvartsen (thigh), Prömel (leg), Schlotterbeck (suspended)
Coach: Urs Fischer

Bremen: Pavlenka - Lang, Gebre Selassie, Groß, Friedl - Bittencourt (Goller 90'), Sahin (c), Klaassen - Osako (Sargent 68') - J. Eggestein (Pizarro 84'), Füllkrug
Unused subs: Kapino, Straudi, Gruev
Out: Augustinsson (knee), Bargfrede (knee), Bartels (knee), M. Eggestein (back), Langkamp (calf), Möhwald (knee), Moisander (muscular), Rashica (groin), Toprak (calf), Veljkovic (broken toe)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt