Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-3 Werder Bremen: Die Werderaner win an absolute classic
Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Werder Bremen picked up their first win of the season in remarkable fashion as they defeated Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-2 at the Merkur Spiel-Arena.

Josh Sargent gave Bremen the lead near the end of the first half, but Rouwen Hennings equalized for Düsseldorf right after the break. Sargent scored another to put his side back in front, and although Khaled Narey tied things up in stoppage time, Bremen were still able to secure all three points after Maximilian Eggestein buried a penalty in the 96th minute.

It was a joy to watch for the neutrals to say the very least.

Story of the match

The best chance of the opening stages went to the hosts. A cross picked out Jakub Piotrowski in the area, but his attempted header flew just wide of goal.

Bremen then came close to opening the scoring near the half hour mark after some superb play from Niklas Schmidt, as he nutmegged a defender before playing a low pass to Niclas Füllkrug. He was surrounded by the opposition, though, and his shot from close range was blocked.

They did go in front before the break. A spectacular effort from Romano Schmid was saved by Florian Kastenmeier, but the rebound fell to Josh Sargent, and he was able to convert to grab his first of the campaign.

Düsseldorf made a roaring start to the second half, equalizing just minutes into the start of it. Khaled Narey whipped in a superb cross into the area, and Rouwen Hennings managed to get on the end of it, flicking the ball past Michael Zetterer and into the back of the net.

The contest became an open one, and Bremen eventually restored their advantage in the 64th minute. A corner made its way towards the far post, and Sargent was on hand to rise highest and head home with power to give his team the lead once again.

Substitute Felix Agu had the chance to effectively seal the result for the away side when he broke free on the counter, but he was forced to shoot from a bad angle, and his attempt ultimately rolled well wide of the target.

Bremen thought they had made it 3-1 when Yuya Osako set up Sarget for a tap-in, but the sideline official’s flag eventually went up to call the goal back for offside since the former had gone just a bit early.

The game kicked into top gear at the very end, as two goals were scored in stoppage time. Düsseldorf first tied things up after a superb volley from Khaled Narey, and then Bremen grabbed a late winner when Maximilian Eggestein converted from the penalty spot.

It was an incredible ending to a hectic contest.


Düsseldorf’s high press really bothered Bremen early on, but once they got used to it, the away side were able to pass through the press on a number of occasions. It did lead to some potentially dangerous turnovers, though.

Yuya Osako and Niklas Schmidt both struggled last weekend, but they had contrasting showings this time around. The former had a tough time and seemed invisible for most of the contest, while the latter was much more involved and helped create opportunities for his side. Only time will tell whether or not they’re partners in the midfield once again next week.

Rouwen Hennings was able to showcase his quality despite not getting much service, as he buried the one chance set up for him. It was a wonderful flicked finish, and it led to Düsseldorf’s first goal of the contest. He’s proven that he can get the job done since it was his third of the season already, but his teammates now have to start helping him out more.

Fair play to Maximilian Eggestein for burying the penalty under those conditions. In a tough road environment in the final few minutes with points on the line, the midfielder was able to find the back of the net even though the goalkeeper guessed the right way.

Man of the match - Josh Sargent

He may not have been the matchwinner, but Josh Sargent’s two goals were absolutely vital.

The American scored the opening goal of the game after pouncing on a rebound in the area, and then his header gave his side the lead once again past the hour mark. Both goals were very well taken, as he didn’t have a lot of time or space when he scored either. He simply wanted it more than the opposition, and his efforts were rewarded.

His performance was especially impressive considering he was playing as a right winger, which isn’t his natural position. Sargent made the most of it, though, and his superb showing should give him and Bremen plenty of confidence going into the future.