Werder Bremen 3-2 VfL Wolfsburg: Werder heap more misery on Wolves

The Northerners took a huge step towards beating the drop with this win.

Werder Bremen 3-2 VfL Wolfsburg: Werder heap more misery on Wolves
Image credit: kicker - Getty Images
Werder Bremen
3 2
VfL Wolfsburg
Werder Bremen: (4-1-4-1) Wiedwald; Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Galvez, S.Garcia (Sternberg 54'); Fritz; Grillitsch, Yatabaré (Öztunali 90'), Junuzovic, Bartels; Pizarro (Hüsing 83').
VfL Wolfsburg: (4-2-3-1) Benaglio; Vieirinha (Caligiuri 72'), Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez; Luiz Gustavo, Guilavogui (Kruse 72'); Bruno Henrique (Träsch 58'), Arnold, Schürrle; Dost.
SCORE: 1-0, Pizarro PEN 32'. 1-1, Guilavogui 36'. 2-1, Bartels 64'. 3-1, Yatabaré 83'. 3-2, Dost 86'.
REFEREE: Wolfgang Stark (Ergolding). Booked: Schürrle (17'), S. Garcia (26'), Vieirinha (31'), Luiz Gustavo (77'), Benaglio (83'), Arnold (88').

Werder Bremen got the better of VfL Wolfsburg in a five-goal thriller on Saturday afternoon, notching up a vital 3-2 win.

Claudio Pizarro scored a landmark goal to open the scoring for Bremen, but they were quickly pegged back by Joshua Guilavogui's strike.

Fin Bartels and Sambou Yatabaré then pushed the hosts into a 3-1 lead, meaning Bas Dost's late reply remained a consolation.

Level at the break

There were excellent chances for both sides to open the scoring within the first 20 minutes. Dost thought he had given his side the lead after spectacularly converting Maxi Arnold's cross from deep, though his effort was correctly ruled out for offside. Florian Grillitsch managed to break the offisde trap at the other end, only to see Diego Benaglio deny him with a smart save.

Bremen kicked on from there and had two great opportunities to get on the scoresheet, only to pass up both. Bartels collected Yatabaré's cross before cutting inside, only to see his effort rattle the post. The rebound fell to Pizarro, but he blazed over. The Peruvian was only one goal away from becoming the hosts' all-time leading goalscorer, surpassing Marco Bode's record. It was no surprise, then, that he stepped up to the spot when Zlatko Junuzovic was brought down; he duly dispatched to move to 102 club goals.

The Wolves didn't have to wait long until they were back on level terms, as Guilavogui netted from close range. Vieirinha's header was flicked towards the back post by Dost, who was looking lively on his return from injury. The French midfielder was able to run in, unmarked, and crash home. The Werder defence immediately turned to each other, questioning who was meant to be picking up Guilavogui.

It was a battling performance from both sides. | Image: kicker - Getty Images
It was a battling performance from both sides. | Image: kicker - Getty Images

Werder steal an invaluable win

Late first half pressure didn't prevail, but that didn't stop the hosts from coming forward again and Clemens Fritz had a header easily held by Benaglio after the restart. Before that, though, there was an incident on the sidelines. Klaus Allofs was sent to the stands after a confrontation with the fourth official. Allofs knew he had made a mistake, and went peacefully as a result.

The hosts continued to pile forward and eventually got their second goal. Bartels, who had come close on two occasions in the first half, exchanged passes with Junuzovic and collected the return ball behind the Wolfsburg defence. The centre-backs had pushed up too far, and the midfielder was able to coolly slot past the oncoming Benaglio.

Wolfsburg's response was limited, though Naldo's free-kick brought a top stop from Felix Wiedwald. Bremen then went further ahead with a fantastic team goal. Bartels and Junuzovic played some delightful one-touch football to get round the Wolves' defenders, before the latter slid across goal for Yatabaré to tap in on the line.

Dost finally got his goal in the dying minutes, connecting with a Ricardo Rodriguez cross to nod past Wiedwald. The damage had been done, however, and Werder kept pace with the teams above them. The Northerners occupy the relegation play-off spot, while Wolfsburg's challenge for a European spot looks dead in the water.