SV Werder Bremen eased past Hannover 96 to record a second straight victory and secure their first home win since August as they continue their climb away from the relegation zone.
After a tense opening 15 minutes, Werder struck the first blow when Fin Bartels finished off a sweeping move down the left. Claudio Pizarro’s neat through ball created space in the area for Santiago Garcia, whose shot was deflected by Hiroki Sakai into the path of the onrushing Bartels. A short while later, Pizarro then doubled the hosts’ advantage with a goal of the highest quality. Taking out two defenders with a deft touch to control Levin Öztunali’s cross, Pizarro swiveled quickly to crash a half-volley into the roof of the net.
It was no more than Werder deserved as they controlled the game for much of the first half. However, they were punished for their failure to make that dominance pay on the stroke of half-time. After a rare foray forward, Hannover pulled a goal back as Kenan Karaman prodded home from close-range following a corner.
The game opened up as the second half got underway and Werder restored their two-goal advantage early on through Theodor Gebre Selassie. Once again, Pizarro was at the centre of the action, teasing the Hannover defence before setting Gebre Selassie up to thump home from the right-hand edge of the area.
The home side killed the game off ten minutes later when Zlatko Junuzovic slotted home from the edge of the area. Hannover showed little in the way of resistance in the final half hour and Bremen ran out deserved victors to seal vital points in the relegation battle.
Man of the match
Pizarro wrote the next chapter in his personal Werder Bremen legend with a majestic performance, crowned by his 100th Bundesliga goal for the club. The Peruvian striker was the focal point of every Werder attack and his clever movement, passing and physical presence created a number of chances for himself and the team.
For a second consecutive game, Werder took all three points, scoring four times in the process. As we enter the decisive stage of the season, Viktor Skripnik’s side look as though they are hitting form at exactly the right time. They are not out of the woods yet, but Bremen seem increasingly likely to leave the relegation zone well behind them. Hannover on the other hand…
- Bartels scored in consecutive matches of the first time in his Bundesliga career.
- Bremen scored two first-half goals in a Bundesliga home match for the first time this season.
- Pizarro netted his 100th Bundesliga goal for Werder and now only needs one more to draw level with Marco Bode as the club’s all-time leading scorer.
- Junuzovic registered his first goal in 17 games and found the net at the Weser Stadium for the first time in over a year.
- Werder are now unbeaten in their last 13 home games against Hannover (nine wins and four draws). No team has endured a longer winless run at the Weser Stadium than Die Roten.
- Hannover have won only one of their previous 28 Bundesliga games in Bremen.
Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Djilobodji, Vestergaard, S.Garcia (U.Garcia 86’)- Grillitsch - Fritz (c) (Veljkovic 72’), Öztunali (Lorenzen 85’), Junuzovic, Bartels, - Pizarro
Hannover: Zieler - Sakai, Milosevic, Schulz (c), Sorg - Gülselam, Sane, Yamaguchi (Szalai 36’) - Karaman, Kiyotake - Fossum (Klaus 80’)