Weghorst header worsens Bremen’s relegation plight


Wout Weghorst’s late header saw Wolfsburg snatch all three points and severely damage Werder Bremen’s hopes of staving off relegation.

In a cagey game of few chances and where both sides seemed to lack cutting edge in the final third, Wolfsburg dug deep to deal a late blow to the hosts and boost their own chances of qualifying for the Europa League.

The winning move began on the edge of their own penalty area, when Kevin Mbabu made a crucial interception to prevent Bremen getting through on goal. He then ran to the edge of the opposing penalty area, before slipping the ball to substitute Felix Klaus who had made an overlapping run on the right wing. Klaus then delivered a pinpoint cross which Weghorst headed into the corner of the net, with just eight minutes left on the clock.

In truth it was no less than Wolfsburg deserved. They had the better chances and dominated the second half after a fairly even first half.

The first chance of any note in the match fell to the visitors’ Josip Brekalo after 12 minutes but he was unable to direct his fierce shot on target from the edge of the area and it drifted harmlessly wide.

Just a minute later, Wolfsburg did test Bremen goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka, as Weghorst took a clever touch to roll the last defender and put himself clean through on goal. However, his poked shot was turned behind by the left hand of the sprawling Pavlenka.

Bremen grew into the game as the half progressed though. Only a vital last ditch tackle in the six yard box by Max Arnold prevented Josh Sargent from smashing them in front.

Yuya Osako then brought a top save out of Wolfsburg captain Koen Casteels as he beat away the Japanese striker’s vicious shot from the edge of the area.

In the second half it was mainly one way traffic as the visitors upped the tempo and spent far more time in Werder’s half than they had done in the first period.

Weghorst met an Mbabu cross with a header, early in the second half, but couldn’t get enough power on it to steer it beyond Pavlenka.

Klaus and Xaver Schlager then blazed good opportunities off target before Schlager hit the crossbar with a thunderous strike from the edge of the area following a Max Arnold free kick.

Then just as the game appeared to be moving towards a stalemate, Weghorst popped up to break the deadlock.

Bremen pushed for an equaliser but only a tame Theodor Gebre Selassie header in the last attack of the match represented a good opportunity for the struggling side to equalise.

Failure to do so, leaves them three points adrift of the relegation playoff place and six points from safety. Wolfsburg’s win moved them back above Hoffenheim into sixth with four games to play.

Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander (c), Augustinsson – Vogt – Bargfrede (Bartels 61) Klaassen (Selke 86) – M. Eggestein – Sargent (Bittencourt 76), Osako (Woltemade 86)

Unused Subs: Kapino, Lang, Langkamp, Friedl, Groß, 

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) – Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon (Tisserand 88) – Schlager (Gerhardt 84), Arnold (Guilavogui 88) – Brekalo, Mehmedi (Ginczek 64), Victor ( Klaus 64)– Weghorst

Unused Subs: Pervan, Knoche,Justvan, Marmoush,


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