Augsburg scrapped to their second win of the season at the Weser Stadion on Friday night with a 1-0 win downing Werder. As you would expect with Bremen, there was no shortage of late drama. In what we hope will become a regular feature, we take a closer look at what can be taken away from the Bundesliga’s Friday night match.
1. Late drama, but no happy end for Werder.
A Bundesliga match involving Werder Bremen just wouldn’t be complete without a large helping of late, late drama. Late goals against VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund (times three) and Eintracht Frankfurt mean that Ole Werner’s Grün-Weißen cannot be written off no matter how deep into stoppage time it gets.
And so it continued on Friday as Augsburg thought they had done enough to secure a much-needed win through Ermedin Demirovic’s goal. However, a 94th minute penalty awarded for a handball by Maximillian Bauer gave the home side a late lifeline. After three bookings in the argument that followed and Augsburg keeper Rafal Gikiewicz trying to kick a hole in the penalty spot, Marvin Ducksch saw his spot kick saved by the Augsburg keeper.
2. Was Marvin Ducksch the right man for the penalty?
So, Marvin Ducksch hadn’t scored this season and was desperate to open his Bundesliga account, but surely the decision for him to take the penalty rather than the in-form and thus far prolific Niclas Füllkrug was a mistake. Well, the fact that Ducksch saw his spot kick saved by Rafal Gikiewicz proves that it was. Füllkrug had converted from the spot at exactly the same time against Eintracht Frankfurt and had five goals from the opening five matches. Handing the penalty to Ducksch was a gesture that backfired on Werder in the end.
3. VAR continues to baffle.
A Bundesliga match wouldn’t be complete without some VAR controversy either. Niclas Füllkrug thought he had scored his sixth goal of the campaign in the first half only for a controversial decision from the Kölner Keller to deny him and Werder. His header was fine with no illegality, but the goal was seemingly disallowed because Anthony Jung was offside and impeded two Augsburg defenders. The controversy arises from the fact that had he been onside, the referee would in all likelihood not have deemed his actions an impediment and the goal would have stood.
4. Lewandowski would struggle in this Augsburg side
Following Augsburg’s defeat to Hertha Berlina and their second game without looking like scoring, Florian Niederlechner defended the Fuggerstädter’s strikers by complaining that the lack of chances being created was the problem, not the finishing. “Even if you put Lewandowski up front, he wouldn’t score because we don’t have the chances” he moaned.
Looking at the majority of the match on Friday, it is hard to argue against Niederlechner’s claim. Augsburg just don’t create enough chances. However, on second thoughts judging by how life has started in Barcelona for the former Bayern striker, he might just bag one or two, or maybe three, possibly four (per game).
5. Rafal Gikiewicz knows how to start a riot
If you were ever wondering how you would start a riot at the Weser Stadion, Rafal Gikiewicz could offer some tips. You’d start by saving a 94th minute penalty in front of the home fans and then you’d start antagonising them by making gestures for them to shut up.
Following his late, dramatic save on Friday, the Augsburg keeper decided that winding up the Werder fans behind his goal by telling them to shut the hell up was a wise course of action. It wasn’t. Scores of enraged Bremen fans jumped down into the area behind the goal seemingly after the keeper’s blood.
He was rightly booked for his foolish actions, but a yellow card seems he got off lightly. He was lucky no one actually got as far as confronting him because it wouldn’t have been pretty to watch.