⚽ A. Kramarić (50), ⚽ C. Baumgartner (52)
By Ultan Corcoran @UltanCorcoran
Bundesliga Matchday 26 concluded with the meeting of Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim. The visitors have endured a torrid run of form lately, but a big win over Hertha before the international break settled some nerves. Bremen gaffer, Ole Werner, had a full squad to choose from. This would be greatly welcomed by ‘Die Kraichgauers’ after a rake of defensive injuries hampered their performance vs Gladbach last time out.
|Mitchell Weiser.||Photo: Werder Bremen|
While Bremen started the brighter of the two sides, Hoffenheim had the best opening chance of the game. Ihlas Bebou got in behind the Bremen rear guard, but Friedl recovered well to block the shot on 12 minutes. The hosts best chance fell to them just after the half hour. Romano Schmid picked out the in-form Ducksch whose strike was well saved by Baumann.
The second-half sprung to life inside eight minutes when Hoffenheim forged a 2-0 lead. The first of two headers came from Andrej Kramaric who got on the end of an Angeliño cross. Then Kaderabek did similar as he found Baumgartner unmarked in the box. Bremen huffed and puffed after that, creating ample chances but taking none.
It took the instant impact of substitute Amos Pieper to reduce the arrears. The centre-half who was only on the pitch for 33 seconds turned home Weiser’s perfect cross from the left flank. Hoffenheim nerves started to grow almost instantaneously.
Bremen threw the kitchen sink at the Sinsheim side for the final 15 minutes. Some elusive footwork from Eren Dinkçi teed up fellow substitute Philipp but his strike was foiled by the post. There was even a penalty awarded to Bremen at the death. Agonisingly, a VAR review found Weiser offside in the build up. Bremen’s luck undoubtedly out as they succumbed to defeat.