bundesliga

Marius Bülter brace for Union Berlin deepens Werder Bremen relegation fears

A deadly double from Marius Bülter pulled Union Berlin nine points clear of the relegation zone and increased the pressure on struggling Werder Bremen, who have dropped into the bottom two.

Werder Bremen 0-2 Union Berlin
Goals: 0-1 Bülter (52’) 0-2 Bülter (72’)

Bremen had shown plenty of desire early on but – as so often has been the case – Union stayed compact and were hard to break down. There were no major chances in the opening quarter, and Bremen were unable to take one when it finally arrived on 27 minutes. Maximilian Eggestein didn’t catch his close-range effort cleanly from Leonardo Bittencourt’s clever cut-back, and the ball trundled wide. Eggestein later fired an otherwise well-directed shot from the edge of the penalty area against his own teammate Davy Klaassen in what was a frustrating half for the team with the worst home record in the Bundesliga. Bremen had 65 percent of possession, but also picked up three yellow cards and failed to land a shot on target before the interval.

Sebastian Andersson almost got the opener for Union early in the second half, but his towering header was brilliantly tipped away by Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka. The home side didn’t heed the warning, however, as from a Union counter just two minutes later Yunus Malli found Christopher Lenz on the left. His inviting low ball across was smartly touched home by Marius Bülter for his fifth goal of the campaign. Yuya Osako finally got an effort on target for Bremen as they sought a swift response, but it was straight at underworked Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz. Davie Selke then fired at Gikiewicz from a tight angle, and Bittencourt looked to follow up a stunning DFB Cup goal against Borussia Dortmund only to find the visiting keeper well positioned to save. Lenz drew a stop from Pavlenka at the other end before Union soon broke again to devastating effect. After Andersson was denied by Pavlenka, Bülter somehow turned home the rebound from an incredibly tight angle despite the best efforts of Niklas Moisander to clear the ball off the line. Milot Rashica fired a long-range strike just wide as Bremen looked to hit back, but they slumped to a worrying seventh home defeat of the campaign.

Match stats

  • Bülter scored twice in a game for the second time this season, having also doubled up in the 3-1 home win over Dortmund on Matchday 3.
  • The visiting attacker scored from both his attempts at goal in the game.
  • Promoted Union had lost four of their previous five Bundesliga games. The 5-0 reverse against Dortmund a week previously was their heaviest top-flight defeat to date.
  • Bremen have won just one of their 10 home games this season, scoring only eight times in front of their own supporters.
  • The Green-Whites have failed to score at home for four league matches in a row for the first time.
  • Having conceded 48 goals in 21 games, Bremen now have – along with Mainz – the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga.

Watch: Bülter: "We're living the dream"

Line-ups

Bremen: Pavlenka - Toprak (Sargent 69'), Vogt, Moisander (c) - Bittencourt, M. Eggestein, Klaassen, Friedl - Osako (Pizarro 77'), Selke (Bartels 69'), Rashica
Unused subs: Kapino, Veljkovic, Sahin, J. Eggestein, Groß, Goller
Out: Augustinsson (thigh), Bargfrede (calf), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Gebre Selassie (groin), Langkamp (knee), Möhwald (knee), Lang (thigh)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Union: Gikiewicz - Hübner, Schlotterbeck, Subotic - Trimmel (c), Andrich, Gentner (Prömel 63'), Lenz - Malli (Ingvartsen 63'), Bülter (Rysersen 89') - Andersson
Unused subs: Nicolas, Polter, Ujah, Kroos, Becker, Parensen
Out: Friedrich (suspended), Gogia (torn ACL), Mees (thigh), Schmiedebach (abdominal strain)
Coach: Urs Fischer