Niclas Füllkrug scored in the 85th minute as Werder Bremen returned to winning ways against Hertha Berlin.
Hertha's Marco Richter tickled the side netting in a furious start. Bremen tried to return fire as Romano Schmid put the ball on a plate for Füllkrug, who was denied a certain goal by Agustin Rogel's intervention. Dodi Lukebakio blazed over from the edge of the area midway through a keenly contested first half. Marvin Ducksch followed suit, albeit from a much more promising position inside the Hertha area. Füllkrug did test Oliver Christensen with Werder's next effort, but the Hertha keeper got a hand to the uncapped German forward's curling strike.
The two sides traded speculative blows after the restart as Suat Serdar and Lukebakio fired off target from distance, before Ducksch did the same at the other end. Neither team had been involved in a 0-0 draw so far this season going into the game, but it looked like that was about to change when Mitchell Weiser summed up the quality of the finishing with a scuffed effort straight at Christensen. Just when the contest appeared destined to end in a stalemate, though, Füllkrug leapt like a salmon to head in Anthony Jung's probing cross and end Werder's run of two league matches without victory.
- Bremen recorded only their second home win of the season.
- Füllkrug is this season's top scorer with nine goals.
- Only Bayern Munich (32) and Eintracht Frankfurt (24) have outscored Bremen (21) in 2022/23.
- The Green-Whites recorded their first clean sheet at the Weser-Stadion since May 2021.
- Bremen have scored a league-high 10 times in the final eight minutes of matches this term.
- Werder have only lost one of their last 15 meetings with Hertha (W7, D8).
Watch: Füllkrug analyses his winning goal
Bremen: Pavlenka – Stark, Veljkovic, Pieper - Weiser, Schmid, Bittencourt (Groß 63'), Gruev, Jung - Füllkrug (c), Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Buchanan, Agu, Chiarodia, Schmidt, Stage, Burke, Dinkci
Out: Friedl (suspended), Mbom (Achilles), Rapp (thigh), Salifou (groin)
Coach: Ole Werner
Hertha: Christensen - Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (c) - Tousart, Serdar (Sunjic 72') - Lukebakio, Jovetic, Richter (Ejuke 72') - Kanga (Selke 72')
Unused subs: Ernst, Mittelstädt, Pekarik, Uremovic, Boetius, Scherhant
Out: Dardai (shin), Gechter (fitness), Jarstein (not considered), Ngankam (thigh), Nsona (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Japan's Bundesliga core that beat Germany and Spain
With eight Germany-based players in their World Cup squad, Japan had plenty of quality as they beat two of the tournament favourites.
When do clubs return from the winter break?
Here’s the full overview of what the 18 teams have planned before action resumes on 20 January 2023…
Who is Ritsu Doan?
Get the lowdown on the Freiburg attacker dubbed 'Japan's Messi' in his homeland...