Goals from Heung-Min Son, Dennis Aogo and Artjoms Rudnevs overturned Assani Lukimya's first ever Bundesliga goal, while Sokratis' strike, the third in the space of ten second-half minutes, added further tension to a heated match, but was little more than a consolation effort as Bremen ended the game with nine men.
Bremen looking confident
Thomas Schaaf hoped to spark his Bremen side into life by making three changes to the side that lost 5-0 at home to Borussia Dortmund - a plan that paid off early on. Mehmet Ekici looked particularly confident, cheekily curling a free-kick just past the near post before seeing his long-range effort palmed away by Rene Adler.
Hamburg weren't at the races in the opening exchanges, coming closest to an opener when Rudnevs fired over from Rafael van der Vaart's through ball. Yet, Werder were the more decisive in the final third and deservedly went in front when two players Schaaf had brought into the side combined, as Assani headed Aleksandar Ignjovski's beyond the despairing Rene Adler.
The home finally settled into their rhythm demonstrating a positive reaction to going behind in the encounter. Van der Vaart threatened on occasion, but Son went one better, rounding Theodor Gebre Selassie before picking out the top corner from a tight angle. Further opportunities presented themselves at both ends, but neither Kevin de Bruyne nor van der Vaart were able to add to the scoreline.
Profligacy wasn't an issue after the break though, as Aogo opened the floodgates 27 seconds into the second half, capitalising on uncertainty in the Bremen box to poke home from close range. The left-winger then turned provider, teeing up Rudnevs, who coolly slotted the 26-year-old's cross into the net, as a relatively mild-mannered derby finally sparked into life. The action was being played at a frantic pace, and Sokratis' first goal of the season only added to the mounting tension when he beat an unsighted Adler from the edge of the box.
Fritz and Arnautovic sent off
Hamburg's midfield maestro van der Vaart was pulling the strings, but wasted a clear-cut chance by opting for an audacious back-heel instead of a simple finish. Bremen hadn't given up hope though, but after Lukas Schmitz thumped wide the visitors' efforts were hindered as both captain Clemens Fritz and Marko Arnautovic were sent off in quick succession for picking up two bookable offences.
Hamburg refused to rest on their laurels in the dying stages, with Son twice close to bagging his brace. Though it left the Red Shorts vulnerable at the back, Bremen's nine-men weren't able to capitalise on their late sights of goal, as Hamburg secured their first derby win under Thorsten Fink.
Line-ups and statistics