Bremen went into the game low on confidence having yet to win a match, and Gladbach seemed to smell blood early on as they dominated the first half almost entirely. After Raffael shot into the side netting, the deadlock was broken in stunning fashion by Lars Stindl, who collected the loose ball after Thorgan Hazard's effort was saved, bamboozled Robert Bauer with a Cruyff turn and bent a delightful shot into the corner. Gladbach were in total command and seven minutes later, they were two goals up as Jannik Vestergaard headed in against his former club. Bremen were largely ineffective in attack, though they should have reduced the arrears before the interval when Thomas Delaney blazed a loose ball over.
Bremen coach Alexander Nouri changed things up at the break, sending on Izet Hajrovic and Florian Kainz and switching to 4-4-2, and his players rallied in the second period. Kainz saw a deflected shot roll just wide and Zlatko Junuzovic curled an effort just off target. Fin Bartels and Ishak Belfodil remained largely peripheral, however, and Gladbach were able to take the pace out of the game and keep the hosts at arm’s length.
Stindl almost added a third goal when he headed against the post late on, but by then the game had almost become a procession for Borussia, with Werder long since defeated. Dieter Hecking’s side move into fifth ahead of Schalke but the table makes for bleak reading for Werder, who remain without a win this term.
Man of the match
Raffael, Hazard and Stindl were all lively for the visitors, but Stindl gets the nod for a simply stunning goal, one that will live long in the memory.
Werder: Pavlenka – Veljkovic (Hajrovic 46'), Sane, Moisander – Bauer, Junuzovic (c), Bargfrede (Kainz 46'), Delaney, Augustinsson (J. Eggestein 80') – Bartels, Belfodil
Coach: Alexander Nouri
Gladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Ginter, Vestergaard, Wendt – Zakaria, Kramer – Hazard (Grifo 89'), Johnson (Traore 74') – Stindl (c), Raffael (Cuisance 83')
Coach: Dieter Hecking
- Gladbach have not lost a game after opening up a two-goal lead for 143 matches.
- Vestergaard has scored 12 Bundesliga goals, ten of which have come from set-pieces, and five goals in total in 2017.
- Stindl has now scored in each of his last six appearances against Bremen, netting once in each match.
Watch: Vestergaard discusses the mixed emotions after scoring against his former club