Werder Bremen were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga on Saturday after they lost 4-2 to Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Wohninvest Weserstadion and results elsewhere did not go their way.
Gladbach ran riot on the day, taking a 4-0 lead before laying off the gas pedal. That allowed Bremen to pull two goals back, but that didn’t ultimately matter as Die Grün-Weißen were sent down with a whimper.
Story of the match
Gladbach made a dream start to the contest, opening the scoring after less than three minutes. Some lovely play led to a low cross from Stefan Lainer that picked out Lars Stindl, and his finish was just as nice, as he picked out the bottom corner with a first-time shot.
Bremen really should have equalized in the 19th minute. Josh Sargent was able to break past the backline, putting himself through on goal in the process. He went for the unselfish option, laying off a pass to Davie Selke. However, it was a bit underhit, and Selke’s finish wasn’t great, either, which allowed Yann Sommer to make a big save as a result.
The first half was relatively uneventful, but Gladbach did have a chance with about seven minutes to go. A corner hit towards the near post flew right to an unmarked Lainer, and his flick-on header was a quick one. Even though the attempt was likely going to either hit the bar or fly over, Jiří Pavlenka still made a reflex save to make sure it didn’t go in.
After an even start to the second half, Die Fohlen doubled their advantage. It was just too easy, as a simple give-and-go between Marcus Thuram and Stindl played the former through on goal, and he made no mistake with the finish, slotting home past Pavlenka.
It was nearly three moments later. Thuram broke free on the counter once again, but this time he was denied by Marco Friedl, who did remarkably well to track back and block the shot.
His efforts would effectively be for naught, though, as Gladbach did grab a third only minutes after. Coming via a set-piece, a free-kick was whipped into the area by Stindl, and Ramy Bensebaini was able to head the ball into the back of the net to all but seal the result for his side.
If it wasn’t already, almost all the attention of those involved with Bremen turned to the Köln match, as them winning would relegate Die Grün-Weißen.
Gladbach made it 4-0 past the hour mark. A loose ball in the area fell to Florian Neuhaus, and he made the most of the fortunate bounce, passing a first-time shot into the corner.
Bremen did pull one back, as Milot Rashica managed to slam a shot past Sommer from close range.
They even got a second. Niclas Füllkrug did very well to get the goal, turning in the area before curling a shot into the top corner. He may have been helped by a bit of luck, though, as the attempt potentially took a deflection before going in.
That would prove to be the final major moment of the contest and Die Grün-Weißen's time in the Bundesliga, for now.
Bremen deservedly go down
In the past, Bremen have always found a way to get themselves out of trouble.
Flirting with relegation for years now, the club were just able to pull a rabbit out of the hat whenever need be. With that in mind, many were probably expecting them to do the same on this occasion.
That would not be the case, though, as a woeful performance from Die Grün-Weißen led to them being easily beaten on the day. The things that have haunted them all season were on show versus Gladbach, whether it be defensive mistakes or wastefulness in front of goal.
It’ll certainly hurt, but Bremen know that they really can’t complain at the end of the day.
Man of the match - Lars Stindl
Today’s performance from Lars Stindl sums up just how superb he’s been this season.
He scored the vital opener, finding space in the area before finishing with calmness and composure. The attacker then set up the next two goals, first playing Marcus Thuram in behind the defense before then whipping in a quality free-kick to Ramy Bensebaini.
The contributions meant that Stindl ended the campaign with 17 goals and 15 assists in all competitions, which is a very impressive tally, especially when you consider the fact that he’s 32-years-old.
His age does mean that he likely won’t be able to keep this up for much longer, but for now, Gladbach can truly appreciate all Stindl has done for them.