An even contest for most of the early stages, everything changed in the 58th minute when Kristoffer Peterson was sent off for a bad tackle. Bremen took advantage, scoring three before full-time thanks to a brace from Niclas Füllkrug and a goal from fellow strike partner Marvin Ducksch.
Who knows what would have happened if both teams remained at full strength, but what is for certain is that Werder were able to secure another win and three big points on the afternoon.
Story of the match
Another opportunity came and went for them a little later on, as a bouncing ball in the area eventually landed perfectly for Leonardo Bittencourt to run onto. He went a little too far with it, though, and his resulting shot from a tight angle rolled well wide.
Düsseldorf finally started to get into the contest, but Bremen responded by nearly scoring in style. A long ball found its way to Marvin Ducksch, and he went for a spectacular first-time volley on the turn. It was a good effort, but it was tipped over the bar by Florian Kastenmeier.
The away side did have a good chunk of possession to end the half. Even though neither team really created much, it still wasn’t a boring conclusion to the first 45.
The second half took a little time to get going, but that changed minutes before the hour mark. Felix Agu was breaking free down the wing before he was absolutely taken out by Kristoffer Peterson. It was quite clear that he was trying to stop the counter, but his challenge was just too reckless, which meant that he was shown a straight red.
It didn’t take long for Werder to make the most of their man advantage. A well-worked short corner routine led to a cross from Ducksch that picked out the run of Füllkrug. He made no mistake with a header, and even though he was initially called offside, the goal was correctly given after a VAR review.
The result seemingly was all but wrapped up minutes later. Romano Schmid played Ducksch through on goal, and after a fortunate bounce helped him get past the keeper, he passed the ball into the back of an empty net. However, VAR was forced to step in once again, and this time it took away the goal since he was inches offside.
Ducksch took that personally, quickly finding the back of the net once again, and this time the goal would stand. A cross from Miloš Veljković found Niklas Schmidt, who settled the ball before passing it across the area. That set up Bremen’s number 7 to do the rest, and his low shot squeezed past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net despite it not being the best finish.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure, and they grabbed a third before the day was done. A defensive mistake led to a counter, and Ducksch was able to pick out Füllkrug once again for a tap-in from close range.
That proved to be the final highlight of the contest as the full-time whistle came soon after.
This may have been the most fouls I’ve seen in a game in a while. It wasn’t a dirty game at all, as the only bad challenge was the red card. There were just so many quick and cheap fouls all over the pitch that it made it hard for the match to have any flow since it was being stopped time and time again.
The red card was obviously the biggest factor, but Bremen manager Ole Werner’s substitutions immediately following the dismal played a huge role as well. Bringing on Mitchell Weiser and Niklas Schmidt sparked the side, and they played much better as a result. Everything just seemed more balanced, and players finally started to link-up with one another on a consistent basis. Whether or not either start next weekend remains to be seen, but for now, the boss deserves credit for playing his cards perfectly.
Werder weren’t that good, to be fair. It took them a while to get going, and they only kicked into gear following the aforementioned red card and double substitution. Fans will just hope that they needed some time to warm up following the winter break, but they’ll know that another performance like that early on in a match could cost them crucial points.
Man of the match - Marvin Ducksch
Big time players make big time plays, and Marvin Ducksch was certainly big time for Bremen on the afternoon.
Responsible for all three goals, he took over the contest following the red card. The opener came via his cross, which set up his strike partner for an easy header. The forward then turned from provider to scorer, getting on the end of a well-worked move to effectively seal the win. He wasn’t done though, as he grabbed another assist late on after unselfishly teeing up Füllkrug for a tap-in.
Ducksch may not have done much for most of the game, but when his team needed someone to step up, he answered the call. He’ll need to continue playing like this if Werder wants to eventually secure promotion, but if today’s performance is any indication, then he should be able to do that just fine.