Werder Bremen picked up three massive points in their fight for Bundesliga survival on Saturday afternoon, as the Green-Whites beat Paderborn 5-1 at the Benteler-Arena.
Davy Klaassen opened the scoring in the 20th minute before Yuya Osako made it two about 15 minutes later. Klaassen grabbed his brace before the half, and Maximilian Eggestein then scored his first goal of the season at the hour mark.
Abdelhamid Sabiri was able to grab a consolation goal for the hosts soon after, but Niclas Fullkrug would find the back of the net in the final few minutes, reestablishing the four goal margin between the two sides.
As a result, Bremen are now tied on points with Fortuna Dusseldorf in the battle for the relegation playoff spot, while Paderborn sink eight points behind their nearest rivals, all but guaranteeing their relegation.
Story of the match
After a dull opening 15 minutes, the game suddenly burst into life.
It all started when Bremen were awarded a penalty, as the referee spotted a handball committed by Jamilu Collins in the area. Milot Rashica stepped up to take the resulting spot kick, but had his attempt saved by Leopold Zingerle.
Paderborn failed to clear the ball away, though, and that would cost them. Bremen kept possession, and eventually worked it out wide to Theodor Gebre Selassie. The right back took a touch before whipping in an excellent cross into the area, picking out Davy Klaassen, who headed home in quite spectacular fashion.
The home side would respond well, and carved out a solid chance of their own. A low cross from the byline found centerback Jan-Luca Rumpf on the edge of the box, and his first time shot flew towards goal, but was ultimately blocked by a Bremen player.
Paderborn came even closer to equalizing at the half hour mark, as a well taken corner was redirected back across the area. No one was able to get on the end of the loose ball though, and the danger was eventually cleared.
They would be left to really regret that missed chance, as the Green-Whites doubled their advantage immediately after. Flying forward on the break, Rashica played Josh Sargent through before the forward cut inside and got a shot off. It was well saved, but the rebound fell right to Yuya Osako, who was able to convert from close range.
Bremen would shockingly grab another goal in the 39th minute. A free kick was crossed towards the far post, and Milos Veljkovic rose highest to win the header. He completely messed up his effort, but it worked out, as the ball flew right to Klaassen who smashed a volley into the back of the net.
It was a dream first half for the away side, who managed to score as many goals as they had in their last three games combined.
They kept the good times rolling, and made it four at the hour mark. Another shot from Sargent was saved, and once again the rebound fell to a teammate, this time going right to Maximilian Eggestein. The midfielder did what was needed, slamming his shot into the roof of the net to score his first of the campaign.
Paderborn would grab a consolation goal soon after, as Abdelhamid Sabiri poked home from a corner after some truly woeful defending by Bremen.
That would not be the last goal of the contest though, as substitute Niclas Fullkrug got on the scoresheet for the Green-Whites on his first game back from an ACL injury. It was a quality finish, as he was played through by Marco Friedl before picking out the bottom corner with a perfectly hit shot.
With the big win, Bremen kept their Bundesliga survival hopes alive, as they are now level on points with Fortuna Dusseldorf in the battle for the relegation playoff spot.
For Paderborn, their relegation was all but confirmed with the loss, and there’s now an eight point difference between them and 16th place.
This game summed up Paderborns season perfectly.
The better side at times, the contest would have looked completely different if they had taken one of their earlier chances. As per usual, they did not, and it would cost them.
Paderborn were a mess defensively, leaving players open and giving away easy opportunities. Zingerle made a few quality saves, and even stopped a penalty, but he could not do anything about the four goals he ended up conceding.
The result effectively sealed their relegation fate, as they now sit eight points behind Bremen with only three games to go. They never got going this campaign, so Paderborn supporters can’t complain too much about their side going down.
He may not have scored on the afternoon, but Bremen striker Josh Sargent was still excellent, helping lead his team to all three points.
Incredibly energetic, the American seemed to be active all game, either making runs in behind or pressing opposing defenders when they got on the ball. Sargent did his part in possession as well, dribbling past his marker on a few occasions to open up space for his teammates, and even winning a penalty early on.
He was unlucky to have not found the back of the net, but two of Sargent’s shots led directly to goals, as someone else was able to finish off the move when the rebound fell to them.
Bremen need all the help they can get in attack if they want to stay up. If Sargent can keep up this good form, then the Green-Whites might just have a chance of avoiding relegation.
Man of the match: Davy Klaassen
The man who opened the scoring and put the game to bed later on, the two goals from Davy Klaassen were huge for Bremen.
Supporters were fearing the worst when Rashica had his penalty kick attempt saved, but Klaassen was able to calm those nerves when he found the back of the net moments later. It was a superb goal as well, as the Dutchman managed to perfectly place his header into the top corner.
He then scored again to make it 3-0 and effectively seal the victory, reacting incredibly quickly to a loose ball flying at him to volley home from close range.
Klaassen then focused on helping out the team defensively, and put on a solid shift in the middle of the park, breaking up opposing attacks and keeping the ball for the Green-Whites time and time again.
The former Ajax captain has stepped up when Bremen has needed him most, and Klaassen might end up being the main man who keeps the team in the Bundesliga, making himself a cult hero in the process.