After two consecutive defeats without scoring, Werder got back to winning ways and secured only their second home win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin in a game that looked destined to finish all-square. Niclas Füllkrug was the hero once again with the winning goal in the 85th minute.
In our regular feature, we take a closer look at what can be taken away from Friday’s match.
1. Füllkrug only strengthens his World Cup claim
A ninth Bundesliga goal from Niclas Füllkrug not only won the game for Werder Bremen but sent out yet another reminder to Bundestrainer Hansi Flick ahead of the choosing of his final World Cup squad. The reasons for selecting the Werder striker are outweighing the arguments against as he keeps hitting the back of the net in a way few others do.
Lücke’s looping header five minutes before the end sealed the three points for the Grün-Weißen and the Bremen striker will need to male sure he knows exactly where his passport is as he might ne needing it soon.
2. Dodi Lukebakio is working harder
If Dodi Lukebakio could add a consistent finish to his attacking game, he would be an awesome Bundesliga striker. One thing that is noticeable however is the work-rate of the Belgian this season.
He was sent to Wolfsburg on loan last season, but under new Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz he looks like a new signing for die Alte Dame. His forward runs and pressing from the front are a key part of Hertha’s game and with a few more efforts hitting the back of the net, his game would move to the next level.
3. The elbow is the new yellow card magnet
Referee Tobias Reichel followed the new regulations regarding use of the arm/ elbow to the letter and handed out first half cautions to both Wilfried Kanga and Dodi Lukebakio for use of the arm to fend off their opponent.
The initiative to cut out the use of the arm to fend off markers is one which has its merits, but one which is surely going to cause issues in the coming weeks.
4. Fine margins decide football games
If ever a game had a draw written all over it prior to kick-off it was this clash at the Weser Stadion, Werder had only won 33 of their last 100 matches at home, while visitors Hertha Berlin had won only 23 of their last 100 away games.
It was a battling game with neither goalkeeper being kept excessively busy and as the game developed the pre-match prediction of a point apiece looked a decent bet. That was until the head of Niclas Füllkrug rose majestically to score five minutes before time.
5. Mitchell Weiser is a very lucky man
Sandro Schwarz was not a happy man at the end of the game as he confronted the referee. High on his list pf potential complaints would have been the non-sending off of former Hertha player Mitchell Weiser.
Weiser got a cheap yellow card in the first half for kicking the ball away at a Hertha free kick. He could and perhaps should have been booked in the second period for fouls on Marco Richter and Marvin Plattenhardt. Perhaps the banality of his first half caution worked in his favour, but if there was ever a player walking the tightrope, Weiser was a walking example. Not unsurprisingly he subbed off by Ole Werner to keep Werder at eleven versus eleven.