Werder Bremen have picked up what might be their biggest win of the season so far as the Green-Whites beat Augsburg 2-0 at the Wohninvest Weserstadion on Saturday afternoon.
A relatively tame affair, it seemed like the contest was destined to end 0-0. However, in the blink of an eye, Bremen grabbed two goals in quick succession. Coming in similar fashion, crosses towards the back post picked out wingbacks Theodor Gebre Selassie and Felix Agu respectively, and they both managed to finish off their chances to give the home side a crucial win.
Story of the match
The home side could’ve been given an early penalty on two occasions. Milos Veljkovic was brought down in the area moments before Omer Toprak was taken out as well, but neither was enough for the referee to point to the spot.
Daniel Caligiuri nearly created something all on his own for Augsburg as he dribbled past a few defenders before drilling a low cross into the area. However, none of his teammates were on hand to make the most of the opening.
All in all, it was an admittedly dreadful first half. Augsburg had most of the ball but they didn’t do much with it, while Bremen were unable to put any passes together in midfield.
Things did get going to start the second half. Caligiuri had a header saved by Jiri Pavlenka before Jean-Manuel Mbom nearly hit on the counter for the Green-Whites.
Caligiuri was a very lucky boy ten minutes into the half as he really should’ve been sent off. Already on a yellow, he took out youngster Felix Agu on the wing. The referee decided not to send him off, though, and the player was substituted soon after.
Augsburg could’ve taken the lead at the hour mark as a corner picked out Reece Oxford, who was only a few yards out. However, he made a mess of the finish, hitting the ball with his shoulder instead of his head.
Bremen responded by creating their best chance of the game moments later. A loose ball fell to Josh Sargent, and the striker did well to turn and shoot quite quickly. However, goalkeeper Rafał Gikiewicz did even better as he stuck out a leg to make the reaction save.
The home side finally broke the deadlock with five minutes to go through an unlikely scorer. A cross from Agu flew towards the backpost, although it seemed like Augsburg would be able to deal with the danger at first. However, Theodor Gebre Selassie got in front of his marker, somehow getting to the ball and smashing a volley into the back of the net to give his side the lead.
Bremen would put the game to bed moments later after some incredible work from Romano Schmid. He kept the ball in play and dribbled past a defender before a give-and-go put him into space down the wing. His low pass rolled across the area before eventually making it’s way to Felix Agu, who just about hit the ball well enough to guide it into the bottom corner.
Augsburg had no idea what hit them, and they didn’t have enough time to respond.
A monumental momentum boost
It seemed like Bremen were heading for yet another uninspired performance.
Sure, a 0-0 draw would have still been a decent result, but it was the way the team played that was a bit disappointing. Everyone knows their current focus is on staying solid at the back, but the Green-Whites looked lost going forward once again.
However, that all changed in the blink of an eye. Bremen were suddenly up 2-0 after a pair of goals from their wingbacks. The heads that had dropped instantly perked up as players and staff were celebrating together. The team had come to life, and they used that boost of energy to secure the win and the clean sheet.
Now, supporters will hope the Green-Whites can ride this newfound momentum into the future. Survival is not yet secured since the season is still young, but the team’s aspirations should be higher than just avoiding relegation. Qualifying for a European tournament may be a bit much, but Bremen should try and push for a midtable spot in the league alongside a run in the DFB-Pokal.
They always had the talent, but now they finally have the confidence to go with it.
Man of the match - Felix Agu
Only coming into the starting lineup because of an injury to Ludwig Augustinsson, 21 year old Felix Agu has certainly made a strong case to keep his spot in the team even when the Swede returns.
Agu was the matchwinner for Bremen on the afternoon, setting up the opening goal before then scoring the second himself. That would be impressive enough if he was playing up top, but the German was actually filling in as a left wingback.
On his debut as well, Agu’s impact went beyond the scoresheet. He served as a creative outlet throughout the contest, finding space out wide and dribbling past opponents before either getting fouled or picking out open teammates with a pass. He also did what was needed at the back, helping the Green-Whites keep a crucial clean sheet.
All things considered, it was a dream day for Agu. Bremen knew he had a bright future, but it seems he’s ready to be a player for the present as well.