Hoffenheim earn one more lifeline with big win at Werder Bremen


Andrej Kramaric and Christoph Baumgartner fired a couple of second-half goals in quick succession for relegation-threatened Hoffenheim, with the Sinsheimers later digging in for a vital victory against Werder Bremen.

Bremen 1-2 Hoffenheim
Goals: 0-1 Kramaric 50' (assist: Angelino), 0-2 Baumgartner 52' (assist: Kaderabek), 1-2 Pieper 76' (assist: Weiser)

The clock ticking down on what has been an eventful season for both sides, there were big goals to aim for at the Weserstadion. For Hoffenheim, holding on to their top-flight status is paramount. The visitors - inspired after ending a 14-game winless run with victory against Hertha Berlin last time out - were infused with energy from the off. Ihlas Bebou might have given them an early lead but for a last-ditch tackle by home captain Marco Friedl. For their part, Bremen were keen to make a last throw of the dice on an outside shot at finishing in the European spots. After his recent international feats with Germany, local eyes were trained on the Bundesliga's top-scoring forward Niclas Füllkrug. It was the striker's attacking partner, Marvin Ducksch, who kept goalkeeper Oliver Baumann on his toes in the opening half, however. The custodian made a terrific reaction stop to deny Werder's lively No.7, who connected with Mitchell Weiser's centre while it was a combination of John Brooks and Baumann who later foiled Ducksch after Füllkrug had spurned a half chance of his own.

After netting a couple of penalties in the Matchday 25 triumph against Hertha, Kramaric spoke of his team needing to thrive under the pressure of their battle to beat the drop. Not long after the restart in this game, the Croatia international was leading by example. Niklas Stark's flicked clearance towards the left flank only found the dangerous Angelino and when the full-back quickly delivered a pin-point centre for Kramaric, the 31-year-old headed his team into the lead. Almost immediately afterwards, Werder gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Bebou to lead a visiting counter-thrust. He picked out Kramaric, who in turn fed Pavel Kaderabek to lift one more cross into the mixer. This time it was Baumgartner who headed past Jiri Pavlenka while down on the touchline, visiting coach Pellegrino Matarazzo - who oversaw VfB Stuttgart's survival last season - punched the air with joy. Visibly stung, the Green-Whites rallied and when substitute Amos Pieper headed in off Brooks, momentum swung the way of the hosts going into the closing stages. Maximilian Philipp saw a late strike flash inches off target before the midfielder hit a post as Hoffenheim held on for dear life. When a last-gasp penalty decision in favour of Bremen was overturned, the men in blue could finally breathe.

Match stats

  • Hoffenheim's 50th minute opener came after their first shot on target.
  • Kramaric netted in two consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time since May 2021.
  • As many as three of Baumgartner's last four goals have been headers.
  • Werder conceded from two headers in three minutes after having only previously conceded three headed goals in 25 games.
  • Hoffenheim have scored a division-high nine goals from crosses.
  • With this victory, the visitors also ended an unwanted run of six straight away defeats.

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Bremen: Pavlenka - Veljkovic, Stark (Pieper 75'), Friedl (c) - Weiser, Schmid (Bittencourt 60'), Groß (M. Philipp 75'), Schmidt (Stage 60'), Jung (Dinkci 89') - Füllkrug, Ducksch
Unused subs: Zetterer, Chiarodi, Gruev, Mbom
Out: Agu (patella tendon), Buchanan (illness)
Coach: Ole Werner

Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Vogt, Brooks, Akpoguma (Kabak 76') - Kaderabek, Geiger, Becker (Delaney 67') (Stiller 81'), Angelino (Nsoki 81') - Baumgartner (Asllani 67') - Bebou, Kramaric
Unused subs: L. Philipp, Bicakcic, Bischof, Tohumcu
Out: Bruun Larsen (groin), Che (groin), Dabbur (suspended), Dolberg (concussion), Prömel (ankle), Skov (muscular)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo