Head coach Sandro Schwarz made one change to the starting eleven that played in the home win against Schalke five days ago for the game in Bremen. The team maintained a 4-4-2 shape, with Marco Richter coming in for Chidera Ejuke. After almost a month out, Filip Uremović returned to the squad, as did Derry Scherhant. Márton Dárdai missed out with injury. The hosts’ back five included two former Hertha players in the form of Niklas Stark and Mitchell Weiser.
Richter misses early chance – Jovetić forced off injured
Hertha were an inch away from the perfect start to the game in Bremen, with Richter hitting the side netting from the left-hand side after sharp work from Stevan Jovetić (2’). At the other end, Werder also offered a threat and Agustín Rogel needed to be alert to clear the ball ahead of Niclas Füllkrug who would’ve had a tap in (5’). All in all, the opening stages were shaped by lots of duels in midfield, with both sides struggling to progress the ball cleanly. Clear chances were few and far between, with the next opportunity falling to Dodi Lukébakio who fizzed a shot over from the edge of the box (19’). Richter fired over after the ball fell to him following a corner (23’). Ole Werner’s side had another chance after winning the ball off Hertha in midfield, but fortunately Marvin Ducksch shot over from a tight angle (26’). Five minutes later, Oliver Christensen was called into action to save from Füllkrug (31’). Moments later, Schwarz was forced into a substitution, with Jean-Paul Boëtius replacing Jovetić (32’). In the time up till half time, there was not too much action from either side, and both teams deservedly went into half time level.
Both team were unchanged for the second half. The first shot of the half came from Wilfried Kanga, whose effort from the edge of the box missed the target (49’). In the 56th minute, Hertha broke through Lukébakio, who fired just wide of the target from outside the box. The Hertha defence was resolute and aggressive in challenges during this phase of the game, preventing any clear-cut chances for Werder. Werder were perhaps slightly fortunate around ten minutes later as Weiser, who had already received a yellow card, went without a booking for a foul on Richter (66’). As the game entered the last 15 minutes Schwarz made a triple change, bringing on Ivan Šunjić, Ejuke and Davie Selke for Suat Serdar, Richter and Kanga (72’).
Late goal conceded
Ejuke had Hertha’s first shot on goal moments later, but it did not trouble Jiří Pavlenka in the Bremen net (79’). At the other end, Christensen was alive to the situation as Romano Schmid found himself in too much space from a Hertha point of view, but lacked power in his shot (81’). As the game seemed to be drawing towards a goalless conclusion, Füllkrug headed home for Werder (85’). The game finished in a 1-0 defeat for the Blue and Whites, who did not have enough time to fight back from this late blow.
Werder Bremen: Pavlenka – Stark, Veljković, Pieper – Weiser (83’ Buchanan), Gruev (83’ Stage), Jung, Schmid, Bittencourt (64’ Groß) – Füllkrug, Ducksch (93’ Burke)
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Tousart, Serdar (72’ Śunjić), Lukébakio (84’ Scherhant), Richter (72’ Ejuke) – Jovetić (32’ Böetius), Kanga (72’ Selke)
Goals: 1-0 Füllkrug (85’)
Referee: Tobias Reichel
Yellow cards: Weiser, Stark – Kanga, Lukébakio, Serdar, Bulut (assistant coach)