Werder Bremen put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three while reining Wolfsburg into a relegation battle with a 3-1 win over their northern Germany rivals.

Bremen 3-1 Wolfsburg

Goals: 1-0 Augustinsson (4'), 2-0 Kainz (40'), 2-1 Verhaegh (49'), 3-1 Kainz (72')

Ludwig Augustinsson's determination helped him to meet Zlatko Junuzovic's early corner and power a header in for his first Bundesliga goal. It was almost two 15 minutes in when Max Eggestein got within a toe's length of diverting a Max Kruse cross past Koen Casteels, who was grateful to see a defender sweeping up behind him as both missed the ball. Wolfsburg were grateful to Casteels when he made a reflex save to deny Eggestein, before Niklas Moisander rattled the crossbar with a textbook volley. Florian Kainz then took an even better aim from 20 yards out, curling his effort into the top right-hand corner of Casteels' goal to double Bremen's advantage five minutes before half-time.

Jiri Pavlenka was given his first task of the evening early in the second half, turning Victor Osimhen's effort behind. From the resultant corner, a foul in the penalty area was spotted and Paul Verhaegh had the chance to slice Bremen's lead in two. Pavlenka was equal to his spot-kick, but the Dutch defender followed through to give the Wolves hope. Having come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Bayern Munich this season, Wolfsburg clearly had the belief they could do it again, but Kainz dashed those hopes, concluding a perfectly worked counterattack with an emphatic finish through Casteels' legs from Kruse's pass. Bremen looked closer to a fourth than Wolfsburg did to a second as Florian Kohlfedt's team picked up three crucial points in their battle for survival.

Match stats

  • Kohfeldt has more victories in 12 games with Werder (five) than Schmidt has in 18 with Wolfsburg (three). Bremen are also unbeaten at home under Kohfeldt (W3, D3).
  • The Wolves’ 1-0 victory at Hannover on Matchday 20 was their first on the road under Schmidt.
  • Wolfsburg concededed away from home in the Bundesliga for the first time in 2018.
  • Aron Johannsson made his first Bundesliga start since September 2016, when he scored a penalty in a 2-1 defeat to Augsburg.
  • Admir Mehmedi made his first Bundesliga start for Wolfsburg, having started his first DFB Cup game for the Wolves in midweek.
  • Augustinsson's first Bundesliga goal came with his 14th shot in Germany's top flight.
  • Kainz's first goal of the season came with his 25th shot; it was his third Bundesliga goal – all coming at home, and goal number four at the Weser Stadium followed.

Line-ups

Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson – Bargfrede (56' Delaney), M. Eggestein – Johannsson (65' Gondorf), Kainz, Junuzovic (c) (89' Bauer) – Kruse
Unused subs: Drobny, Rashica, Langkamp, J. Eggestein
Absentees: Zetterer (hand), Bartels (Achilles)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Wolfsburg: Casteels - Verhaegh (c), Bruma, Knoche, William – Guilavogui (69' Origi), Arnold – Malli, Mehmedi (78' Dimata), Brekalo (69' Steffen) – Osimhen
Unused subs: Grün, Jung, Itter, Rexhbecaj
Absentees: Brooks (knee), Blaszczykowski (back), Camacho (ankle), Didavi (unknown)
Coach: Martin Schmidt

Watch: Bremen goalscorer Augustinsson gives his thoughts on the win

As it happened

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