Werder Bremen continued their unbeaten start to the season with a dominant 3-1 victory at home to Hertha Berlin in the Matchday 5 opener on Tuesday, handing the visitors their first defeat of the campaign in the process.
Werder Bremen 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Harnik (11'), 2-0 Veljkovic (45'), 2-1 Dilrosun (53'), 3-1 Kruse (pen. 66')
With the teams occupying two of the top three places ahead of kick-off, it was no surprise that they both started confidently, each attacking at pace at every opportunity. Bremen drew first blood early on when Martin Harnik bundled the ball over the line after a mix-up between Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein and defender Fabian Lustenberger. The hosts continued to create the better chances – Harnik had another effort ruled out for offside and Davy Klaassen lashed over - before their pressure eventually paid off when Milos Veljkovic's powerful header from a corner doubled the score on the stroke of half-time.
Hertha re-emerged for the second half on the back of what must have been a fierce tongue-lashing from head coach Pal Dardai as they poured forward with wave after wave of attacks. They pulled one back when Vedad Ibisevic's pass released Javairo Dilrosun, who squeezed the ball past Jiri Pavlenka from a tight angle. Yet any ambitions of a fightback were dashed when Marvin Plattenhardt felled Theodore Gebre Selassie in the box, allowing Max Kruse to seal all three points for the hosts from the penalty spot.
- Harnik scored his first goal for Bremen – the team's quickest this season - since returning to the club over the summer. His last goal for the Green-Whites was in August 2007 against Nuremberg, 4049 days previously.Bremen have now scored eight goals this season, with seven different scorers. Maximilian Eggestein is the only player to have found the net more than once.Dilrosun's goal means he now has two goals and three assists in just four Bundesliga outings.Kruse has scored all 12 of the penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga. Bremen are now undefeated in 16 home games under Florian Kohfeldt – equalling the club's all-time record for a coach at the start of their tenure.Hertha have conceded a penalty in their last five games – a Bundesliga record.
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – M. Eggestein, Sahin (Bargfrede 61'), Klaassen, Harnik (Kainz 74') – Kruse (c) (J. Eggestein 89'), Osako
Unused subs: Plogmann, Pizarro, Langkamp, Friedl
Absentees: Caldirola (not considered), Johannsson (ankle), Kapino (thigh), Käuper (ankle)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt
Hertha: Jarstein (Kraft 46') – Lazaro, Stark, Rekik, Plattenhardt – Lustenberger, Maier – Dardai (Selke 64'), Duda (Kalou 78'), Dilrosun - Ibisevic (c)
Unused subs: Skjelbred, Mittelstädt, Luckassen, Jastrzembski
Absentees: Grujic (ankle), Kurt (not considered), Torunarigha (Achilles)
Coach: Pal Dardai
Watch: Klaasen on Bremen's "deserved" victory over Hertha