Seeking to avoid an unwanted club first of five consecutive Bundesliga defeats, Werder began in determined fashion. When Zlatko Junuzovic’s corner in the 16th minute found Serge Gnabry at the far post, the 21-year-old sent a looping header back across the goal and into the far corner. Things got even better for Bremensoon after with Thomas Delaney lifting a superb free kick up and over the Mainz wall and past the despairing Jonas Lössl for his maiden Bundesliga goal since a January move from FC København. Jhon Córdoba looked to reduce the arrears for the 05ers but was frustrated by the alert Felix Wiedwald.
The hosts introduced Pablo de Blasis at the restart and the Argentinian would have made an immediate impact but for Wiedwald’s fine stop. Mainz then somehow survived in the confusion that developed following Max Kruse’s free-kick while at the other end, Junuzović cleared a Stefan Bell header off the line as the action intensified. The visitors lost some of their intensity when Delaney was forced off with a suspected concussion but the Green-Whites saw out the remainder of the challenge to earn a precious three points that keeps their heads above water at the wrong end of the Bundesliga standings.
Man of the Match
Despite Bremen's efficiency in front of goal, it was Wiedwald’s superb stops at the other end that kept the visitors on course for a first win since 10 December. Werder's number 42 frustrated the hosts as they attempted to respond from a poor start, denying Córdoba and De Blasis at every turn.
Werder Bremen went into their encounter against Mainz on the back of four straight Bundesliga defeats but they stopped the rot thanks to a confident first half showing that should stand them in good stead for the crucial games ahead.
- Thomas Delaney's 23rd-minute goal was the first time Werder scored directly from a free-kick this season.
- Of Serge Gnabry's eight Bundesliga goals this season, seven have come away from home.
- Alexander Nouri's side led by more than a single goal in a match for the first time this term.
Mainz: Lössl - Donati (Bussmann 84'), Bell (c), Ramalho, Brosinski - Gbamin, Latza - Öztunali (De Blasis 46'), Bojan (Seydel 58'), Jairo - Cordoba
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Bremen: Wiedwald - Bauer, Sané , Moisander, Gebre Selassie - Delaney (Eggestein 54') - Fritz (c), Junuzovic (Garcia 89') - Gnabry (Veljkovic 76'), Bartels - Kruse
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Watch: Goalscorer Serge Gnabry discusses Bremen's triumph: