Claudio Pizarro's second-half double helped SV Werder Bremen recover from 3-1 down to hold high-flying Hertha Berlin to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling contest.
Eager to take advantage of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s defeat at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Friday, Hertha started on the front foot and Vedad Ibisevic was only denied an opener by a crucial block from Papy Djiblobodji, who was making his home debut for Werder. A 30-yard thunderbolt from Czech Republic international Darida eventually put the visitors in front just before the half-hour mark, before Plattenhardt’s fierce free-kick from the edge of the box doubled Berlin’s advantage after 41 minutes.
Fin Bartels pulled a goal back for Bremen mid-way through the second period following a fine run, but Kalou’s cool finish four minutes later appeared to have put the game beyond the hosts. However, evergreen striker Claudio Pizarro made it 3-2 from the penalty spot, before Santiago Garcia found the bottom corner with a glancing header to send the Weser Stadium into raptures and earn Viktor Skripnik’s side a precious point.
Man of the Match
Not only did his quick-fire second-half double rescue a draw for his team, Claudio Pizarro’s work rate was second to none on Matchday 19. Even after his 81st-minute equaliser, the 37-year-old frontman was throwing himself into challenges to help his tiring team-mates.
Write off Werder Bremen at your peril! Skripnik’s charges looked dead and buried following Kalou’s 71st-minute strike, but the hosts showed guts and determination in abundance to fight back and secure a point that could prove pivotal in their battle against relegation.
- Pizarro’s brace was his 34th in the Bundesliga – more than any other current player in Germany’s top flight.
- Darida’s sublime first-half strike was the 25-year-old’s fourth goal in six competitive games for Hertha.
- Plattenhardt has now scored four of the 17 direct free-kicks he has taken in the Bundesliga.
Bremen: Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Djilobodji, S. Garcia – Fritz (c), Junuzovic (Fröde 90+2'), Öztunali (Bartels 46’), Grillitsch (Kleinheisler 63’) – Pizarro, Ujah
Hertha: Jarstein – Weiser, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt – Lustenberger (c), Skjelbred (Hegele, 90+3') – Darida – Haraguchi (van den Bergh 69’), Kalou – Ibisevic (Stark 86')