Vital victory for Werder Bremen
Last Updated: 19/04/14 5:01pm
Cedrick Makiadi holds off Tarik Elyounoussi
Werder Bremen picked up a vital three points to stave off relegation danger with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim.
Kevin Volland had stuck Markus Gisdol's men ahead within three minutes, but a rallying response from Werder, through goals from Philipp Bargfrede, Santiago Garcia and Nils Petersen, won the points.
Hoffenheim's Sejad Salihovic also missed a penalty on 86 minutes which would have levelled the game at 2-2.
The away side, with the third most goals scored in the league this season, needed just three minutes before adding to their tally at the Weser-Stadion.
Roberto Firmino slipped through a pass to open up the Werder defence and Volland sweetly turned Raphael Wolf, then slotting in from a tight angle.
Brazilian Firmino missed moments later, but his cute pass for Volland took him to 35 'scorer points' in all competitions this season - 20 goals and 15 assists.
Bremen looked to be in for a long afternoon, but found a way out of a ruck 13 minutes later. Bargfrede's strike skimmed a white away shirt and rippled the back of the net to level the scores.
Hoffenheim's attacking fluidity was contained well by Robin Dutt's hard-working team who would get their just rewards late in the second half to aid their push for survival.
Twelve minutes from the end, Werder Bremen got the decisive second when Garcia, who scored the winner against Bayer Leverkusen in December, converted Aaron Hunt's corner-kick.
Hoffenheim could have levelled with four minutes to go, but the usually clinical Salihovic saw his spot-kick saved by Bremen keeper Wolf.
Then, as the game became stretched, Bremen got the killer third goal when Franco Di Santo sneaked the ball out of the corner to cut back to Petersen who rammed the ball high into the net.
Werder Bremen leap into 11th place on 36 points and hold a nine-point cushion from the relegation zone.