Four of the five 15:30 Bundesliga fixtures ended in draws; two of them scoreless. Germany's football-loving population might have beheld three goalless draws were it not for a late offensive burst in the final ten-minutes of Augsburg-Bremen.
An aesthetically delightful full-stretch tap-in from veteran Theodor Gebre Selassie proved the difference on Saturday at the Weserstadion. The 34-year-old Czech international rose to meet an inadvertently flicked-on header in the box. Splaying himself into what looked like a mid-air karate pose, the Hanseaten right wingback guided the ball into the back of the net with a still touch.
Visiting trainer Heiko Herrlich undertook a complete tactical overhaul following his side's immense struggles with its shape last weekend. Changing four members of his starting XI, Herrlich set-up the Fuggerstädter in what looked like a 5-2-3 spread. Werder's Florian Kohfeldt countered with an extremely wide 3-6-1 that kept most of his players behind the half-way line.
Unsurprisingly, both sides found themselves mired in a midfield stalemate; visibly tearing up the pitch in an endless series of third-and-fourth axis duels. André Hahn nearly capitalized on a Marco Friedl defensive error in the 18th, but his pass for Alfred Finnbogason just missed the mark. Apart from this sequence, there weren't any genuine scoring opportunities in the first-half.
The FCA maintained upwards of 75 percent possession, yet simply couldn't find the lanes. The Hanseaten attacked with a bit more courage immediately after the restart. Jean Manuel Mbom was able to break through into the 49th. Augsburg were able to get a dangerous counter off after Felix Udoukhai cleared the danger. Both teams locked down the space after the initial burst. Little happened between the 50th and 60th.
Herrlich's men were able to step their game up a tad after Florian Niederlechner and Robert Gumny came on via a double substitution in the 58th. Three quality chances came shortly after the hour-mark. Around the the 80th, both of Kohfeldt's wingbacks pressed higher in search of a winner. Felix Agu, starting in place of the injured Ludwig Augustinsson, tore up the left flank in the 84th to ultimately service Gebre Selassie's goal.
Less than three minutes later, midfielder Maximilian Eggestein played Romano Schmid in. The Werder substitute drove the ball over to the left-wing, where a charging Agu was able to complete his own finish. Kohfeldt effectively ran out the clock with staggered subs thereafter. The critical win moves Bremen up into 12th place.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, a missed penalty from Dortmund captain Marco Reus meant that a lively BVB squad couldn't do any better than a 1-1 draw with last-place Mainz. Wolfsburg and Leipzig couldn't be separated in a match that did feature a fine headed finish from Wout Weghorst, but was otherwise characterized by third-rate goals. Köln-Hertha and Bielefeld-Hoffenheim both finished 0-0.
|23||Theodor Gebre Selassie (C) ⚽|
|6||Kevin Möhwald ↩90|
|17||Felix Agu ⚽|
|9||Davie Selke ↩72|
|19||Joshua Sargent ↩90|
|7||Milot Rashica ↪90|
|20||Romano Schmid ↪72|
|28||Ilia Gruev ↪90|
|36||Reece Oxford ↩87|
|6||Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (C)|
|20||Daniel Caligiuri ↩58|
|8||Rani Khedira ↩87|
|27||Alfreð Finnbogason ↩58|
|16||Ruben Vargas ↩74|
|7||Florian Niederlechner ↪58|
|11||Michael Gregoritsch ↪87|
|2||Robert Gumny ↪58|
|17||Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee ↪74|
|41||Tim Civeja ↪87|