Milot Rashica scored one and set up another, but Nils Petersen grabbed an added-time equaliser to condemn his former club Werder Bremen to a fifth successive stalemate as Freiburg claimed a point with a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
Werder Bremen 2-2 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 Rashica (9'), 1-1 Petersen (28'), 2-1 Gebre Selassie (59'), 2-2 Petersen (90'+3)
Red card: Haberer (87')
The pair had enjoyed contrasting DFB Cup fortunes in midweek. Bremen had won, and bounced happily out of the blocks when - following a box-to-box sweep up the pitch in two crisp passes - Rashica bent a delicious fourth goal of the season around Mark Flekken. He tried to repeat the trick shortly afterwards only to find the Dutchman's gloves. Nuri Sahin shot wide with better options, and the ex-Borussia Dortmund man's judgement was again found wanting when he pulled back Jonathan Schmid - Roland Sallai headed home the resulting free-kick, but VAR ruled out the equaliser for a push on Davy Klaassen. Jiri Pavlenka would have loved a similar reprieve when he dawdled on an Ömer Toprak backpass, but Petersen cleanly blocked the Czech goalkeeper's attempted clearance before rolling the ball deftly into the open goal.
Refreshed and no doubt reinvigorated by coach Florian Kohfeldt - clearly furious as he stalked off the pitch at half-time - Bremen pushed immediately after the restart. A superb move that featured a Yuya Osako overhead kick to play in Theo Gebre Selassie led to Leonardo Bittencourt firing against a post. Rashica scurried past two defenders only to shoot straight at Flekken and smash the rebound over the crossbar as the hosts sought to seize the initiative. He did help them do just that, sending over the cross for Gebre Selassie to head home his first league goal since Bremen's 2-1 home win over Freiburg last April. Mike Frantz and Sallai missed opportunities to level, while Flekken denied Maximilian Eggestein and Bittencourt in quick succession at the opposite end before Janik Haberer's dismissal for a second yellow card looked to have spelled an end to the visitors' hopes. Petersen, though, pounced with virtually the last kick of the game and Flekken then denied Toprak with a flying save to keep Freiburg rolling.
- This was Rashica's fourth league goal of the season for Bremen, but his first at home. He was involved in two goals in a Bundesliga game for the first time in the current campaign.
- Bremen have scored five times in the opening ten minutes of league matches this season.
- Petersen's goals means he has 82 in competitive games for Freiburg, and is just one short of the club record held by current Germany coach Joachim Löw. Petersen scored 18 goals in 69 Bundesliga matches for Bremen.
- Gebre Selassie has now scored in eight Bundesliga seasons, and totals 19 league goals, 13 of which have been headers.
- Werder are without a win in six league games and have drawn each of their last five, equalling their club record from 1991. This is the first time they have gone more than five Bundesliga matches in a row without three points under Kohfeldt.
- Eggestein made his 100th Bundesliga appearance (all for Bremen). At the age of 22 years and 329 days, he became the second-youngest Werder player in history to reach a century after Jonny Otten (22 years, 117 days).
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Toprak, Veljkovic , Friedl – M. Eggestein, Sahin (Bargfrede 68') - Klaassen (c), Bittencourt, Rashica (Langkamp 86') - Osako (Sargent 72')
Unused subs: Kapino, Lang, Pizarro, J. Eggestein, Groß, Goller
Out: Augustinsson (knee), Bartels (knee), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Möhwald (knee), Moisander (match fitness)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Freiburg: Flekken – Lienhart, Koch, Heintz – Schmid, Haberer, Sallai (Borrello 88'), Günter (c) – Höler (Kwon 84'), Petersen, Grifo (Frantz 64')
Unused subs: Thiede, Schlotterbeck, Gulde, Gondorf, Itter, Tempelmann
Out: Abrashi (muscular), Höfler (concussion), Kübler (knee), Schwolow (thigh)
Coach: Christian Streich