Werder Bremen 2-0 VfL Wolfsburg: Die Werderaner move second with victory over Wolves
Bremen players celebrate Davy Klassen's goal. | Photo: Bundesliga.

Werder Bremen moved level on points with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 win over northern rivals VfL Wolfsburg.

The Wolves started the stronger of the two sides but Davy Klassen put the hosts ahead ten minutes before half-time, and youngster Johannes Eggestein added the second late on.

Story of the match

Wolfsburg started the better of the two sides and Wout Weghorst nearly put them ahead, not that he knew too much about it. Jérôme Roussillon’s cross deflected off his feet and into the post. The Dutchman nearly had another chance to score, however Jiří Pavlenka saved a cross from William before it could reach him.

A bright Roussillon had also managed to beat Yuya Oskao to a Florian Kainz in the early stages, however as the half wore on Bremen became increasingly dangerous. Max Kruse had a shot saved by Koen Casteels, before a curling effort from Kainz went wide via the head of Klassen.

The Dutchman would then put them ahead. Theodor Gebre Selassie and Maximilian Eggestein combined on Bremen’s right. The former’s cross came off Kruse into the path of Klassen, who slammed the ball home for his second Bremen goal.

They finished the half strongly as well, with Casteels saving another bending effort from Kainz as well as a Ludwig Augustinsson cross aimed for Kruse. At the other end, Pavlenka saved a Josip Brekalo shot after punching a free-kick straight to him.

The play was more punctuated at the start of the season half, with Wolfsburg doing what they could to get back all square. Maximillian Arnold had a low shot saved by Pavlenka whilst John Anthony Brooks managed to run onto an Arnold free-kick, eventually skewing it over the bar.

Daniel Ginczek had been introduced to give them a second striker, but he made little difference until teaming up with Weghorst to put an attempt over the bar. Josip Brekalo, quiet in the first half, then had a shot kept out by Casteels. Bremen needed a second to be sure of the win but had few attempts at getting it, although on the break Augustinsson’s shot was kept out by the joint efforts of Casteels and Roussillon.

By this point the game was turning back in the in their favour, and with five minutes left two substitutes combined to confirm the three points. In a moment that could be described as a passing of the baton, Claudio Pizarro laid a pass to Johannes Eggestein, who slid the ball past Casteels for his first Bundesliga goal and confirm their victory.

Takeaways from the game

Tough time ahead of the Wolves

After picking up two wins from their first two games, it seemed Wolfsburg were on course to improve on back-to-back 16th place finishes. However, this defeat leaves them without a win in five games, a run that is bound to force the spotlight onto Bruno Labbadia. Whilst there is nothing overly concerning in how they played, the worry is what is to come. They face Bayern Munich straight after the international break, with Dortmund to come two weeks later. Failure to get anything from both those games and the trip to Fortuna Düsseldorf will leave them fearing another relegation scrap.

Pizarro still has something to give

Pizarro, in his fourth spell with Bremen, became just the fourth outfield player to make a Bundesliga appearances in his 40s, replacing Kainz a couple of days after entering his fifth decade. Whilst his role might be limited these days, his introduction still had an effect, helping to push the game back in Bremen’s favour and creating the goal for a man 20 years his junior in Johannes Eggestein.

Stand-out players

Roussillon was very effective for Wolfsburg at both ends of the field, especially in the first half when they were on top. Klassen once again though provided Bremen’s midfield with a touch of quality, whilst Kainz didn’t put a foot wrong on the right wing and Pizarro was more than effective in his 15-minute cameo.