Max Kruse strikes killer blow as Werder Bremen pick up valuable win against Stuttgart

Werder Bremen collected only their second win of the season with Stuttgart falling foul of a Max Kruse free-kick special at the Weser Stadium.

Werder Bremen 1-0 Stuttgart

Goals: 1-0 Kruse (45')

Having picked up four points from their previous two games, Stuttgart began confidently with a Takuma Asano header that flew off target. Sitting second from bottom of the standings, Werder sought some of the inspiration that led to a 4-0 triumph against Hannover on Matchday 12 and they went close to sneaking a lead here when Fin Bartels nodded marginally wide. Max Kruse hit a hat-trick in that aforementioned triumph against Die Roten and he was on hand to net from a free-kick right before the break to put the River Islanders ahead. 

Werder looked set fair for two home wins in a row but their celebrations were short lived after the break when VAR ruled out a Bartels effort after Kruse had previously turned provider. Returning from a brief spell in the treatment room, Thomas Delaney tried his luck from a set piece and went close to doubling his team's advantage with a free-kick that whistled just wide. Delaney and Holger Badstuber then exchanged late chances but it was Werder who held on for a valuable three points.

Match stats

    Werder beat promoted Hannover 4-0 in their first home game under Kohfeldt. They have added the scalp of the league’s other promoted club with victory against Stuttgart.VfB last won an away Bundesliga game on 6 February 2016 at Eintracht Frankfurt (4-2). Their run without a top-flight victory now stands at 14 matches.Coaches Kohfeldt (35) and Wolf (36) have a combined age of 71 – Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes alone is 72. Only Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann (30) and Schalke's Domenico Tedesco (32) are younger than the pair.There had previously been at least two goals in the last 20 games between these teams (4.2 per game).Stuttgart’s last win in Bremen was over 11 years ago on 16 September 2006. The visitors were 2-0 down that day before Mario Gomez assisted two and then scored the winner in the 87th minute.

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Werder Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie , Veljkovic , Moisander , Augustinsson - Bargfrede (Sane 75') - M. Eggestein (Gondorf 89'), Delaney - Bartels (85'), Junuzovic (c) - M. Kruse
Subs: Drobny, R. Bauer, L. Sané, Gondorf, Hajrovic, Kainz, Belfodil
Absentees: Zetterer (wrist), Caldirola (foot), Eilers (knee ligament damage), Johannsson (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Stuttgart: Zieler - Pavard, Baumgartl, Badstuber, - Beck, Gentner (c), Ascaibar, Insua (Terodde 61') - Brekalo, Özcan (Akolo 70'), Asano (Donis 57')
Subs: Grahl, Aogo, Kaminski, Akolo, Mangala, Donis, Terodde
Absentees: Meyer (thigh), Mane (knee), Zimmermann (knee ligaments), Ginczek (groin)
Coach: Hannes Wolf