bundesliga

Werder Bremen overcome dogged Freiburg to maintain European push

Davy Klaassen scored for the second Bundesliga game in succession to help Werder Bremen maintain their push for European football next season with a 2-1 win at home to Freiburg.

Werder Bremen 2-1 Freiburg

Goals: 1-0 Klaassen (76'), 2-0 Gebre Selassie (84'), 2-1 Waldschmidt (90'+3)

Unbeaten in 2019 coming into this game, Bremen began confidently and were soon on top, winning the tackles in midfield and getting forward at pace. Yet for all their dominance, the visitors' compact defence meant Alexander Schwolow was rarely troubled; a Milot Rashica free-kick that whistled over the bar was the closest Werder came to scoring in the first half. Freiburg played on the counter-attack and even had the ball in the net twice, but efforts from Christian Günter and Florian Niederlechner were both ruled out for offside.

The match followed a similar pattern after the break and the home side very nearly took a deserved lead early on, when Rashica's cross from the left found Klaassen, whose shot beat Schwolow but was cleared off the line by Keven Schlotterbeck. Substitute Claudio Pizarro dragged a shot just wide from the edge of the box as Bremen began to turn the screw and they eventually broke through late on when Rashica's cross was headed in by Klaassen. Florian Kohfeldt's men sealed the points with five minutes left when Theodor Gebre Selassie met Max Kruse's in-swinging corner, rendering Gian-Luca Waldschmidt's stoppage-time goal for Freiburg little more than scant consolation.

Milot Rashica (l.) once again proved decisive for Bremen, providing the assist for Klaassen's opener. - imago images / foto2press

Match stats

  • Bremen have scored in all 29 games this season. France's Paris Saint-German are the only other team in Europe's top five leagues to match that feat.
  • All three of Gebre Selassie's goals this season have been headers at home.
  • Rashica now has five goals and two assists in his last six games.
  • Nico Schlotterbeck made his first ever Bundesliga start for Freiburg; it was the first time two brothers (alongside fellow defender Keven) have ever started for the club in the league.
  • Bremen goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino made his first top-flight appearance for the club and just third Bundesliga outing overall, following two games for Mainz in February 2015.
  • Yuya Osako started for Bremen for the first time in 2019.

Line-ups

Bremen: Pavlenka (Kapino 46') – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – M. Eggestein, Sahin, Klaassen – Osako (Pizarro 63'), Kruse (c), Rashica (Harnik 87')
Unused subs: Möhwald, Langkamp, Sargent, Friedl
Out: Bargfrede (thigh), Bartels (thigh), J. Eggestein (knock)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Freiburg: Schwolow – K. Schlotterbeck, Heintz, N. Schlotterbeck – Stenzel (Frantz 63'), Gondorf (Waldschmidt 81'), Abrashi, Günter (c) –  Haberer, Grifo – Niederlechner (Höler 81')
Unused subs: Frommann, Terrazzino, Koch, Okoroji
Out: Flekken (groin), Gulde (back), Höfler (suspended), Kath (groin), Kleindienst (knee), Kübler (ankle), Lienhart (concussion), Petersen (hamstring), Sallai (groin)
Coach: Christian Streich