Claudio Pizarro equalled Marco Bode's record of 101 Bundesliga goals for SV Werder Bremen, scoring a penalty to cancel out Julian Baumgartlinger's opener for 1. FSV Mainz 05 as it ended 1-1 at the Weser Stadium.
Goals: 0-1 Baumgartlinger (38'), 1-1 Pizarro (pen. 45+3')
Despite coming into this Matchday 27 clash in 15th, 13 points and nine places worse off than Mainz, Bremen started the brighter, and could have twice taken the lead in the opening 15 minutes. Zlatko Junuzovic flashed a free-kick narrowly wide before Papy Djilobodji saw his header from a corner punched away by Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius. Junuzovic thought he had won a penalty after being brought down by Karius in the visitors' box, but referee Manuel Gräfe waved play on, and Mainz pulled ahead on the counter with their first meaningful attack. Yunus Malli fizzed the ball into the area and Baumgartlinger was on hand to double his season's tally. Bremen equalised on the stroke of half-time, however. Again Junuzovic was the fouled party, this time he got his penalty, and Pizarro stepped up to convert his 12th goal of the season.
The second-half was rather more tepid than the first until Danny Latza smashed an effort towards the Bremen goal that sailed mere centimetres wide of the far top corner. Viktor Skripnik threw Anthony Ujah on in place of Levin Öztunali to give the hosts fresh legs in attack, before giving Pizarro a rest ten minutes from time. Theodor Gebre Selassie fizzed what might have been his second goal of the year high and wide from inside the Mainz box late on, and it ended 0-0 to leave Bremen one point and two places above the promotion/relegation play-off place, now occupied by TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Mainz remain sixth.
Man of the match
Jannik Vestergaard was imperious at the back for Bremen, but it is impossible to overlook Pizarro. The Peruvian held the ball up well for the hosts, allowing the majority of the game to take place in the Mainz half, whilst his penalty drew him level with Bode on 101 all-time Bundesliga goals for Werder - a club record.
Bremen are a different proposition with Pizarro and Clemens Fritz in the team. Even accounting for the fact that it was champions FC Bayern München who beat them 5-0 last Saturday, the scoreline might have been healthier for Skripnik's men had he had his top scorer and his captain in the team. Fritz broke up Mainz's attempted counter-attacks in midfield, and Pizarro continues to make a mockery of the fact that he is now more than 37 years and five months old.
- Bremen still have a worse goal difference than both Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt, the two teams directly below them in the table.
- Werder's Matchday 25 victory over Hannover 96 remains only their second home win of the season.
- Mainz have not won a single one of their last four games against Bremen.
- This was a rare draw for Pizarro against Mainz. The striker had won 12 of his previous 15 Bundesliga games against Die Nullfünfer.
- Kept quiet after coming off the bench in this game, former Mainz man Ujah scored twice in Bremen's 3-1 win over the 05ers last October.
- Bremen are undefeated in their last six Bundesliga games at the Weser Stadium.
Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Djilobodji, Garcia - Grillitsch, Fritz (c), Bartels, Öztunali (Ujah 71), Junuzovic, Pizarro (Lorenzen 81')
Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Bell, Hack, Bussmann - Latza, Baumgartlinger (c) - De Blasis, Malli (Serdar 88'), Jairo - Cordoba (Onisiwo 90')