Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored twice as Hamburger SV beat SV Werder Bremen 2-1 in a compelling Nordderby in Matchday 31's opening fixture.
Hamburger SV 2-1 SV Werder Bremen
Perhaps feeling the after-effects of their midweek DFB Cup semi-final defeat to FC Bayern München, Bremen were caught cold inside five minutes. Nicolai Müller profited from a panicked Papy Djilobodji challenge to race in behind the Bremen back four, before hooking a teasing ball onto the toe of the unmarked Lasogga to guide home. Florian Grillitsch spurned a fantastic opportunity to bring Bremen level when through on goal, and was duly pushed for that miss when Lasogga stooped to head a Matthias Ostrzolek cross into the net via the thigh of Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald.
Much improved in the second half, Bremen were presented with a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears from the penalty spot in the 56th minute. Claudio Pizarro stepped up to take after being crudely upended by HSV captain Johan Djourou, but the Bundesliga’s all-time leading foreign goalscorer saw his tired effort saved by Jaroslav Drobny. Hamburg's towering last line of defence was breached moments later as Bremen substitute Anthony Ujah bundled home at the second time of asking to give the Green-Whites a sniff of a comeback. Viktor Skripnik's men threw everything at the Red Shorts in search of the equaliser and almost got it in the dying seconds, but Pizarro headed wide.