Werder Bremen pulled off one of the upsets of the Bundesliga season so far on Friday night as Die Grün-Weißen beat Eintracht Frankfurt at the Wohninvest Weserstadion.
Frankfurt came into this game in incredible form, and it was no surprise to see them open the scoring early on after a header from Andre Silva. However, Bremen were able to respond, equalizing through Theodor Gebre Selassie before Josh Sargent gave them the lead with an excellent finish.
Frankfurt just didn’t have any answers on the afternoon, which allowed Bremen to hold on to clinch a potentially huge win in terms of the rest of their campaign.
Story of the match
Frankfurt only needed 9 minutes to take the lead on the afternoon. A cross whipped into the area following a short corner picked out Andre Silva, and he was able to guide a header towards the top corner past a helpless Jiri Pavlenka.
Bremen had the ball put into the back of the net near the half hour mark, but the sideline official’s flag correctly went up. Milot Rashica broke free on the break before having his attempt saved by Kevin Trapp, but Josh Sargent on hand was on hand to pounce on the rebound. However, Rashica just leaned too far forward and was rightly called offside.
Rashica was causing more havoc moments later, though. Capitalizing on a defensive mistake, he cut inside before dancing past a few challenges and going for goal. He came incredibly close, but was ultimately denied by the crossbar.
The game began to boil like water on a stove as both sides started to push forward and put in challenges.
Bremen equalized less than two minutes into the second half. Rashica did well to create space before playing a through ball towards Theodor Gebre Selassie, who managed to get onto the pass after a Frankfurt defender slipped. Selassie made no mistake with the finish, picking out the bottom corner with an excellent strike. The official’s flag on the sideline initially went up, but a VAR review reversed the decision since the player was clearly onside.
Die Grün-Weißen kept the momentum going and even took the lead themselves at the hour mark. Maximilian Eggestein was patient with the ball, waiting and waiting to make the right pass at the right time. He did just that, playing Sargent through in behind. He then buried the resulting chance, drilling a low shot into the bottom corner.
The home side thought they had made it three when Romano Schmid slotted home from close range following a nice pass from Sargent on the break. However, the flag went up once again, and this time the decision would stand as a VAR review confirmed that he was offside.
Frankfurt finally got back into the contest, and Silva came close to grabbing his second. A superb turn put him into space, and a curling shot seemed like it was heading for the back of the net. Pavlenka would not let that happen, though, stretching out wide to make the key save.
Die Kraichgauer sent plenty of players forward in the final few minutes, but they failed to create any sort of chances since they resorted to just lumping long balls into the area. As a result, Bremen were able to hold on with relative ease, ending Frankfurt’s unbeaten run in the process.
Bremen have character
Bremen were absolutely embarrassed last weekend, losing 4-0 to a Hoffenheim team that were missing several players due to injury or suspension.
Up against an incredibly in form Frankfurt side this time around, many were expecting Die Grün-Weißen to be beaten badly once again, especially when they conceded within 10 minutes. However, the entire team stepped up to the challenge, coming together to pull off a remarkable upset.
Bremen were defensively solid after giving up the early goal, sitting in deep and limiting space for Frankfurt to operate in. The back three of Milos Veljkovic, Omer Toprak, and Marco Friedl all did their jobs remarkably well, stopping an opposing attack that had been scoring goals for fun beforehand.
Further up the field, Die Grün-Weißen were clinical. Making the most of their chances on the break, they consistently made the right decisions when going forward, and they finished off any opportunities that fell their way.
It was pretty much a perfect performance from Bremen, who need to now build upon this going into the future. There’s still a lot left to play for this season, and this showing will give fans hope going into the final few months of the campaign.
Man of the match - Milot Rashica
Bremen finally got to see a bit of Milot Rashica at his best once again.
Struggling for almost the entire season due to various factors, like rumors of a move away, injuries, and poor form, Rashica hadn’t been much of a factor at all. Even when he returned to the team he looked like a shell of himself, with some thinking he should be dropped to the bench.
However, manager Florian Kohfeldt stuck by the player, and he reaped the rewards as a result.
He took some time to get going, but once he did, Rashica was electric throughout. He constantly got on the ball, dribbling past defenders to open up space for himself and his teammates.
The Kosovo international set up the equalizer for Bremen, picking out the run of Gebre Selassie with a well weighted pass through the backline. He could have been involved in a few more goals on the counter, but he was still able to do enough to secure a big victory for his side.
Bremen have a few more crucial contests coming up, including a DFB-Pokal quarterfinal matchup against Jahn Regensburg. Thankfully for them, it seems like they’ve got their old Rashica back.