The Friday night takeaway: Werder Bremen edge Köln to move seventh

In a very closely fought encounter at the Rhine Energie Stadion it was visitors Werder Bremen who took the three points. A second half goal from substitute Justin Njinmah settled a very competitive game and sent Grün-Weißen seventh. The defeat means Köln have been unable to make any headway at the bottom of the table as they struggle to avoid the drop. Here are five takeaways from Friday’s match…… 

1- New style at Köln, but same results

New Köln trainer Timo Schultz has clearly tried to change the tactics at the club with less emphasis on the intense pressing game that his predecessor Steffen Baumgart employed, and more of a focus on defensive solidity. In the first half they were difficult for Werder to break down and clear-cut chances were few and far between.

However, considering the precarious position they are in, they are going to have to unleash themselves more in an attacking sense and that really only happened after the visitors had taken the lead. The introduction of Steffen Tigges, Sargis Adamyan and Florian Dietz came only after going 1-0 down and especially at home they are going to have to let loose a lot more.  

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 2- Werder can win in the Domstadt

The 1-0 win for Werder was a hard-fought one, but one that they perhaps just edged. The three points also ended a poor run of results in the cathedral city with their last win coming way back in 2005. Miroslav Klose scored twice and current sporting director Frank Baumann was in the line-up, which just shows how long ago it was. 

3- Not Jonas Hector, but…

Left back Max Finkgräfe is winning a lot of plaudits right now and deservedly so. It is too early to be making comparisons with club legend Jonas Hector (as some are doing), but the 19-year-old is already looking a very cool operator at this level despite having just made his first appearances for the club.

He looks assured at the back and is very adventurous going forward. He enjoyed another very solid game tonight against Bremen. If he gets anywhere close to having the career Hector did, then he will be doing very well indeed.  

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4- Nick Woltemade is struggling at this level

Werder striker Nick Woltemade on the other hand had a game to forget and he didn’t repay coach Ole Werner’s decision to start him up front with Marvin Ducksch instead of the speedier Justin Njinmah.  

The 22-year-old scored 17 goals in the 2.Bundesliga last season on loan at Elversberg, but still hasn’t scored in the top flight. Tonight, he never looked like that was going to change and was rightly substituted in the second half for Njinmah (who duly scored the winner). 

5- Malatini is a monster

The Argentine scored seconds after making his debut against Freiburg and made his first start tonight replacing the injured Niklas Stark. The 22-year-old played on the right of Werder’s back three and enjoyed a very impressive night. Built like a wardrobe, he did well against players running at him and got some very important tackles in when Werder were under pressure. 

Ole Werner now has a selection headache when all his regular centre backs are fit as the South American did his cause no harm at all with his performance tonight.  

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About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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