Following an evenly-matched first-half, substitute Anthony Ujah made the desired impact off the bench to score the only goal of the game in the 59th minute, as the Billy Goats picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since returning to Germany’s top flight.
Little to choose between the two
While Köln head coach Peter Stöger stuck with the side that beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 last weekend, his counterpart Robin Dutt rotated in three positions, hoping to change his charges’ fortunes. Bremen began the livelier of the two sides and demonstrated far more intent in possession, but were regularly rebuffed by the visitors, who absorbed pressure whilst posing problems on the counter attack with Simon Zoller stinging Raphael Wolf’s palms inside the opening minutes.
Despite their grip on proceedings, a lack of penetration thwarted Werder’s most promising moments, forcing them to have to wait until shortly before the half-hour mark to register their first shot on goal, a wayward attempt from Fin Bartels following a rare mistake by Timo Horn. In turn, Wolf proved equal to Daniel Halfar’s effort before watching Marcel Risse’s free-kick fly wide, allowing Werder to trudge into the dressing rooms at half-time with the deadlock still intact.
Ujah the match-winner
The encounter sparked back into life immediately after the restart as the hosts’ top goalscorer Franco di Santo scuffed an effort into Horn’s grateful arms, before Zlatko Junuzovic’s rising first-time volley forced the German Under-21 keeper to tip the ball over the crossbar. Concerned by the Billy Goats’ start to the second half, Stöger threw Ujah into the mix and saw his super-sub break the deadlock with only his second touch of the ball, converting Dusan Svento’s drilled cross with aplomb.
Aware of the damage another defeat would do to their campaign, Bremen’s desperation levels grew at an alarming rate. Izet Hajrovic was unfortunate to see his thumping 20-yard effort cannon back off the post, but was one of few Werder players attempting to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Dutt’s last roll of the dice involved converting to a three-man frontline, but even Davie Selke and Nils Petersen’s added firepower failed to produce an equaliser as Köln travelled home with all three points.
Line-ups and statistics