Entertaining opening sees both sides level at the break
Darmstadt had started the game well and were not allowing Bremen room to breathe in the opening exchanges. That pressure paid off with the first real chance of the game after a deep free-kick found the head of Jan Rosenthal, although his header drifted just wide of the post. Felix Wiedwald was another who found it hard going early on and two early mistakes almost handed the Lilies an opener, but Sandro Wagner couldn't take advantage.
Despite their dominance, Darmstadt found themselves behind after 20 minutes. Theodore Gebre Selassie won a fifty-fifty battle with Konstantin Rausch and a lovely piece of skill got the Czech international to the by-line before he cut the ball towards the back post and Aron Johannsson. The American international shrugged off Aytac Sulu and he headed home from just a few yards out to give his side the lead against the run of play.
It could have been even worse just a few moments later when Christian Mathenia miss-kicked his clearance and the ball fell to the busy Johannsson. He rounded the stranded 'keeper on the angle and shot towards goal only to see György Garics make a quite incredible goal-line clearance.
Darmstadt were not disheartened and soon had a golden chance to get back on level terms. Miscommunication between Jannik Vestergaard and Wiedwald ended up with the former leaving the ball and the goalkeeper hacking down Rosenthal. Guido Winkmann immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Wagner made it third time lucky, slotting home from 12 yards to deservedly restore parity.
Late chances would fall the way of both sides late on and could count themselves unfortunate not to add to their tallies. A wonderful solo run from Rosenthal seen him go past three defenders before driving the ball at goal, only to see it come back out off the inside of the post to safety. Anthony Ujah's header almost crept under the bar but instead landed on the roof of the net, meaning they went in level pegging at the break.
Wagner leaves it late to seal glorious win
The second half began much more slowly than the first, with both sides obviously concerned about how open they were in the previous 45 minutes. Ujah's aerial presence was still proving too much for the home defence to handle and he had the only real chance of the first 15 minutes, flashing a header just past the far post.
Marcel Heller could have won the game for Darmstadt but he missed the chance to flick home after a powerful cross. The midfielder actually ended up clearing the danger, much to the relief of the visiting defence. It looked as if they'd passed up their last chance to grab three points but there would be some late drama.
Heller redeemed himself massively by playing in Wagner, who headed home from close range to earn the three points. The pacey forward knocked the ball past onrushing Wiedwald and crossed just before the ball crossed the by-line. The former Hertha man was on hand to head into the open goal and send the Darmstadt fans into dreamland, having witnessed their first Bundesliga home win in decades. Finn Bartels also saw red late on for Bremen, who were quickly realising this was a week to forget.