Summary

  • Pizarro scores club record 102nd Bundesliga goal.
  • Bremen only two points behind 15th-placed Stuttgart.
  • Wolfsburg ten adrift of top four.

Claudio Pizarro pulled onto a club-record 102 Bundesliga goals for SV Werder Bremen as Viktor Skripnik's side beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-2 at the Weser Stadium.

SV Werder Bremen 3-2 VfL Wolfsburg

Goals: 1-0 Pizarro (pen. 32'), 1-1 Guilavogi (36'), 2-1 Bartels (64'), 3-1 Yatabare (83'), 3-2 Dost (86')

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Bremen may have come into this Matchday 30 clash in the promotion/relegation play-off place, nine points worse off than European aspirants Wolfsburg, but they enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half and threatened first when Pizarro went within a whisker of connecting with Zlatko Junuzovic's whipped ball into the box. Bas Dost thought he had made it 1-0 at the other end with an instinctive finish soon after, but he was denied his eighth goal of the season by the offside flag. Fin Bartels then hit the post for the hosts before they broke the deadlock from the penalty spot. Junuzovic was fouled by Vieirinha in the Wolfsburg box and Pizarro stepped up to stroke home his club record 102nd Bundesliga goal for Bremen. Their lead lasted only four minutes, however, with Josuha Guilavogi heading home following a corner to make it 1-1 with half-time approaching.

Wolfsburg never looked like repeating their 6-0 win from the reverse fixture, though. Junuzovic was a constant nuisance to the Wolves defence, and he forged Bremen's second goal just past the hour when he strode forward before releasing Bartels, who did well to stay onside before unleashing an unstoppable finish past Wolfsburg captain Diego Benaglio. Naldo thumped a free-kick towards Bremen's goal minutes later, but Felix Wiedwald saved. Junuzovic then squared the ball for Sambou Yatabare to tap home his first Werder goal inside the final ten minutes. There was still time for Dost to reduce the arrears with a header, but it proved to be too little too late and Bremen closed out their first victory in five games.

Man of the match

Pizarro held the ball up well, allowing his teammates to outshoot Wolfsburg with 21 attempts to the visitors' eight. His penalty was expertly taken, spinning off the inside of the post, and meant that at 37 years, 6 months and 13 days old, the evergreen Peruvian has now scored 13 goals in a prolific 2016.

Talking point

Desperately unlucky to be knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Real Madrid CF on Tuesday, Wolfsburg's chances of securing European football for next season suffered a blow here. Dieter Hecking's men have only won twice away from home all term, and the gap to the European places is now six points.

Match stats

  • Pizarro had been level with club legend Marco Bode on 101 Bundesliga goals for Bremen since Matchday 27's 1-1 draw with 1. FSV Mainz 05. Now on 13 goals, it is the striker's best single-season return since he scored 18 in the 2010/11 campaign, in his last spell at Die Grün-Weißen.
  • Guilavogi doubled his Bundesliga goal tally for the campaign. The midfielder's last Wolfsburg goal came in the reverse fixture - a 6-0 win for the Wolves.
  • Werder have failed to keep a clean sheet for the last 33 games. The Bundesliga all-time low was set by MSV Duisburg (38 games) in the 1970s.
  • This was the first time in seven attempts that Hecking has failed to beat Bremen as coach of Wolfsburg. The reverse fixture was Hecking's biggest win as a Bundesliga coach.

Line-ups

Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, Garcia (Sternberg 54') - Grillitsch, Fritz (c), Yatabare (Öztunali 90'), Junuzovic, Bartels - Pizarro (Hüsing 83')

Coach: Viktor Skripnik

Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) - Vierinha (Caligiuri 72'), Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Guilavogui (Kruse 72'), Gustavo - Henrique (Träsch 58'), Arnold, Schürrle - Dost

Coach: Dieter Hecking