Wolfsburg were able to pick up their third straight win on Friday night, as they beat Werder Bremen 5-3 at the Volkswagen Arena in a barnstormer of a match.
A thrilling contest throughout, the home side were just able to do enough to pick up all three points, jumping up to 5th place in the Bundesliga standings for the moment. Bremen, meanwhile, will be a bit disappointed despite the resilient showing, as this loss ends their seven match unbeaten run.
Either way, it was one of the best games of the season so far.
Story of the match
Despite Wolfsburg starting the contest on the right foot, it would be Bremen who opened the scoring. Yuya Osako dispossessed centerback Maxence Lacriox, winning the ball in the final third before hitting a low cross into the area. His pass picked out Leonardo Bittencourt, who came crashing in to poke home from close range.
The home side responded very well, and equalized only 10 minutes later. It was a moment of magic from right back Bote Baku, who pushed up the pitch before finding space and rifling a shot into the bottom corner.
Wolfsburg kept pushing forward and took the lead mere moments after scoring their first. A superb chipped cross by Josip Brekalo found John Anthony Brooks, who rose highest before heading home with relative ease.
Bremen finally got back on the ball, and would equalize themselves in the 35th minute. A corner whipped in towards the near post was met by Kevin Mohwald, and the midfielder pulled off one of the goals of the season, as he somehow redirected a header over the keeper and into the side netting of the far post.
Unbelievably enough there would be another goal scored almost directly from kick off. The home side lumped a long ball into the box that wasn’t dealt with properly, and after a few bounces, Wout Weghorst was eventually able to hit a low strike past everyone and into the back of the net.
It was a hectic first half to say the very least, as both sides were up for it going forward while also making mistakes at the back.
The second half started in very similar fashion, as it was 3-3 minutes after the break. Brooks was involved once again, however this time he was putting the ball into the back of his own net as a failed clearance flew past Koen Casteels.
Wolfsburg were back in front with 15 minutes to go, though, and it was Weghorst who continued his purple patch. Jerome Roussillon broke free on the sideline before hitting a cross towards the back post. The Dutch striker was wide open and made no mistake with the finish, heading home from close range.
Things just kept happening, as Bremen found themselves down a man five minutes later. Mohwald, who had already been booked earlier on, stopped a counter by pulling the shirt of a Wolfsburg player. The referee had no other choice to make, and he quickly showed Mohwald a second yellow card before showing him a red one and sending him off.
Bremen pushed forward late, sending everyone including the goalkeeper up the field. However, it would not be enough, as Wolfsburg grabbed one more goal on the counter to wrap up proceedings. Joao Victor and Bartosz Bialek put together an excellent give-and-go, with the latter finishing off the move with a simple shot past Jiri Pavlenka.
It was a fair result all things considered, as Wolfsburg were just a little bit better on the night.
A Bundesliga classic
So much happened on the night that it’s hard to learn specific things from the contest. One thing that is clear is that this will go down as one of the games as the season, and fans of either side won’t be forgetting about it anytime soon.
It had almost everything. There were great goals, ugly goals, and even an own goal. There were yellow cards and even a red one. Even the goalkeepers were able to get on the highlight reel with some decent saves despite how many goals they each gave up. The only thing missing was a penalty kick, but asking for one of those would have just been greedy at this stage.
Wolfsburg did deserve to win, as they were just a bit crisper in their build up play. They always seemed like they knew what they were doing going forward, and they played with confidence as a result. They did make too many mistakes at the back, but there’s a good chance tonight was just an anomaly for a usually solid defense.
Bremen should be proud of the fight they put up. They stayed in it until the very end on the road against a very good side. Last season's team probably would have collapsed much earlier in the contest, which goes to show how much they have improved. Bremen will have to learn from this performance, though, as there is still plenty of work left to be done.
At the end of the day, both sides will still feel some sort of joy since they were involved in such a wonderful contest.
Man of the match - Wout Weghorst
One of the most underrated strikers in all of Europe, Wout Weghorst continued his excellent form by grabbing two more goals on the night.
It was a superb performance from the Dutchman, who took both of his goals in clinical fashion. His first came after he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the area to rifle a shot into the back of the net, and his second, which was the match winner, was the result of an excellent header.
The forward did more than just score, to be fair, as he used his height and strength to help Wolfsburg keep the ball in the final third. It was an absolute masterclass from Weghorst, and if he can keep playing like this, then the rest of the Bundesliga is in trouble.