Not every game of football can be a beautiful one, and that was proven on Sunday afternoon, as Werder Bremen tied Hoffenheim 1-1 at the Wohninvest Weserstadion.
The contest did start brightly, as both sides managed to score relatively early on. Maximilian Eggestein gave the Green-Whites the lead with a clinical volley before Dennis Geiger tied things up for Die Kraichgauer with an emphatic finish.
Those would prove to be the only real chances of the match, as neither team really created much of anything going forward. As a result, the scoreline stayed at 1-1, which was a fair result given the circumstances.
Story of the match
Bremen opened the scoring after just five minutes. Theodor Gebre Selassie found space out wide before whipping in a low cross towards the edge of the area. He picked out Maximilian Eggestein, who finished the move in some style, volleying past the goalkeeper.
Hoffenheim would respond well to going down early, and equalized in the 20th minute. A long shot from Robert Skov deflected right to Sebastian Rudy, who made the most of the fortunate bounce. He laid off a pass to Dennis Geiger, and the diminutive midfielder rifled a shot into the top corner.
The away side came close to grabbing another goal right before the half when Munas Dabbur snuck in behind the backline, but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Jiri Pavlenka.
Dabbur thought he was through on goal once again midway through the second half, but Milos Veljkovic would be the one to deny him this time around, as the defender cleared the ball away with a picture perfect slide tackle.
Hoffenheim came within inches of taking the lead late on. Skov absolutely hammered a free kick towards goal, but his effort only bounced right off the crossbar and out of play.
That would prove to be the lone highlight of a dreadful second half, as both sides seemed to settle for a point. That’s what they got, which was a result that neither team could be too upset with.
Injuries play their part
Both teams were dealing with a number of injuries going into this game, and that was clear to see.
Hoffenheim were without star man Andrej Kramaric, and without him, they looked lost in the final third. No one was able to step up in his place, which led to a number of sideways passes and aimless crosses being hit into the area. They did score, but Die Kraichgauer still didn’t create nearly as much as they should have.
Bremen couldn’t call upon their best attacker either, as Milot Rashica never even came off the bench. It seems there’s been a setback in his recovery, so who knows what his status will be for next week.
To make matters worse for the Green-Whites, top scorer Niclas Fullkrug had to come off early after picking up a knock, and then his replacement, Yuya Osako, also had to be substituted when he got hurt late on. With Davie Selke already out of action before this game kicked off, Bremen don’t have many healthy options going forward anymore.
As a result, they didn’t look threatening either. The goal was well taken, but they didn’t do anything other than that. Bremen tried to hit on the counter, but just didn’t have the pace to get in behind.
All of these things led to the contest being as boring as it was. Now, both sides will just look to get some players back before next weekend.
Man of the match - Maximilian Eggestein
All things considered, no one really deserves the man of the match award, as pretty much everyone was lackluster on the afternoon.
Someone’s got to get it though, so the pick of a bland bunch is Maximilian Eggestein. He opened the scoring with a superb strike, and helped Bremen keep the ball in the midfield throughout. The German was useful defensively as well, dropping deep and supporting the backline whenever need be.
It was the textbook definition of a solid shift from Eggestein, who will need to continue to step up for the Green-Whites following the departure of Davy Klaassen. So far, though, so good.