Ten-man Bremen come from behind to beat Fortuna
BERLIN (AFP) –
Ten-man Werder Bremen came from behind to beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-1 at home on Sunday as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich finished the weekend eight-points clear at the top of the table.
It has been a turbulent week for Bremen as manager Klaus Allofs left on Wednesday, after 13 years working alongside coach Thomas Schaaf, to become sports director at VfL Wolfsburg, who play Hoffenheim away later on Sunday.
But Bremen had a good end to a difficult week as Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne – on loan from English Premier League side Chelsea – scored the late winner.
“Kevin is doing well, he is always eager to play and isn’t afraid of taking risks,” enthused Bremen coach Schaaf after an impressive performance from de Bruyne, who has played all 11 league games this season.
“It was clear in advance that the events of the past week wouldn’t impact on the team, you could see that from the way they fought.
“Fortuna had lots of ball possession, but still didn’t do much with it”.
Duesseldorf took the lead when defender Jens Langeneke converted a 10th-minute penalty after Australian midfielder Robbie Krues was fouled by Greek defender Sokratis in the area.
Werder were lucky not to have Austria striker Marko Arnautovic sent off after 33 minutes for a head-butt on Langeneke, but he was only shown a yellow.
Bremen leveled when striker Nils Petersen headed home on 51 minutes, but Werder were reduced to 10 men when Congolese defender Assani Lukimya was sent off against his former club after a second booking on 77 minutes.
Werder got the winner when 21-year-old de Bruyne blasted home a cross from captain Aaron Hunt on 82 minutes and the three points leave Bremen seventh, while Duesseldorf are 15th.
Bayern had their five-match winning away streak broken on Saturday as they were held 1-1 at ten-man Nuremberg after Mario Mandzukic’s early goal was cancelled out by a strike from Nuremberg’s former Bayern midfielder Markus Feulner.
Schalke slumped to a 2-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen with Germany midfielder Andre Schuerrle and striker Stefan Kiessling scoring either side of half-time.
Royal Blues’ coach Huub Stevens angrily insisted he could have changed nine players during the game and sent both midfielder Lewis Holtby and Peru striker Jefferson Farfan to the dressing room after pulling them off with 30 minutes left.
Germany’s top clubs are all bidding for top place in their respective Champions League groups this week as Schalke 04 host Olympiakos, while Bayern are at Spain’s Valencia and Borussia Dortmund travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax.
There were three goals in the first 15 minutes at Dortmund as the defending champions prepared for their trip to Holland by running out 3-1 winners over second-from-bottom Greuther Fuerth.
Eintracht Frankfurt stayed up with the league leaders in third by claiming a 4-2 win at home to bottom side Augsburg having taken an early 2-0 lead.
A second-half own goal by Dutch defender Roel Brouwers handed VfB Stuttgart a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Hamburg enjoyed a 1-0 win at home to Mainz as South Korea striker Son Heung-Min scored the contentious winner in the 63 minutes after being set up by a pass from midfielder Maximilian Beister.