Freiburg - SC Freiburg moved two points clear of the drop zone after easing to a deserved 3-1 win over SV Werder Bremen.
Energetic and easy on the eye, the hosts were good value for the points, with Nils Petersen's second-half strike mere consolation for a Bremen side undone by three fine efforts from Freiburg triumvirate Julian Schuster, Felix Klaus and Admir Mehmedi.
Die Breisgauer started with exactly the sort of purpose head coach Christian Streich had alluded to at his midweek press conference. Mehmedi was looking particularly lively, while Jonathan Schmid asked an early question of the Bremen back four with a couple of teasing balls into the danger zone.
The hosts were snapping at the heels of Robin Dutt's men at every available opportunity and it was Freiburg's tenacious approach that brought about the opening goal. Bremen thought they had cleared their lines after snuffing out a bulldozing run from Karim Guede, but the loose ball fell only as far as Schuster, who rifled home an unstoppable dipping strike from 20 yards.
Chances at both ends
Unbeaten in their last five, Bremen were being completely outfoxed by a Freiburg outfit that had picked up only eight points since the turn of the year, and had Luca Caldirola to thank for not falling further behind. Schmid flicked Mehmedi's cross into the path of Guede who, swivelling on a sixpence, saw his close-range strike charged down by the Italian.
For all their imperfections, die Grün-Weißen almost snuck an equaliser, with the hitherto isolated Franco Di Santo tickling the side netting late in the half. Zlatko Junuzovic's clever free kick gave the travelling fans further cause for optimism within minutes of the restart, but Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was equal to the task, diving full stretch to divert Sebastian Prödl's glancing header around the post.
The Mehmedi show
That was as good as it got for Bremen, though, with Freiburg seizing the initiative soon after. Vladimir Darida's expertly weighted pass released Mehmedi, who had the wherewithal to clip the ball back into the box for Klaus to send a first-time effort into the net. Roles were reversed six minutes later as Klaus honed in on goal, allowing Mehmedi to sweep in the follow up.
Guede went close to adding a fourth, before substitute Petersen pulled one back for the gimcrack visitors after Aaron Hunt capitalised on a mistake by Matthias Ginter. Not in the slightest bit shaken, Freiburg went straight back on the offensive through the indefatigable Mehmedi, the Dynamo Kyiv loanee dancing across goal and rifling past the upright. The 23-year-old deservedly received a standing ovation after making way for Philipp Zulechner, having played a decisive role in moving Freiburg that little bit closer to safety.
Line-ups and statistics
One of the goals that helped Freiburg past Bremen was magnificent strike from outside the box making it into Matchday 26's Top 5 Goals on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: