Matchday 22: Füllkrug scores again: Bremen defeats weak Bochumers

Niclas Füllkrug remains Werder Bremen's sporting life insurance.

Matchday 22: Füllkrug scores again: Bremen defeats weak Bochumers

Niclas Füllkrug remains Werder Bremen's sporting life insurance. The national striker's 14th goal of the season initiated an important 3-0 (2-0) home win against VfL Bochum, through which the promoted team successfully stayed out of the Bundesliga relegation battle.

Werder now has an eleven-point lead over VfL, who are extremely weak this time in penultimate place. Bremen scored 23 of their 30 points in games in which Füllkrug scored at least once.

In front of 42,100 spectators in the Wohninvest Weserstadion, the 30-year-old scored the 1-0 for Werder in the 29th minute. Niklas Schmidt (41st) and Marvin Ducksch (59th) extended this lead. The preparatory work for the first two goals came from Anthony Jung, who had just extended his contract with Bremen this week.

This home win repeated a pattern from the Werder season: Whenever Ole Werner's team threatens to be drawn into the relegation battle again and there is slight unrest in Bremen, they reliably score. That was already the case in the 2-0 first leg win in Bochum and in the 2-1 win against VfL Wolfsburg in January.

VfL also made it easy for Bremen. As hard as the relegation candidate had fought its way up from the bottom of the table in the past few weeks, it remained passive and weak in tackles in this important game. After the suspension of his captain Anthony Losilla, coach Thomas Letsch had to rebuild the defensive, switched to a five-man defense and called up four new defenders.

However, the attempt to stabilize their own cover was at the expense of the offensive. Bochum far too seldom brought their tricky half-forwards Takuma Asano and Christopher Antwi-Adjei into play. The Werder team only had to tremble briefly in the first half when the video referee checked contact between Amos Pieper and Philipp Hofmann in the Bremen penalty area in the 18th minute. However, the decision remained the same: no penalty for Bochum.

Werder wasn't much better in the first half, but they were much more efficient than VfL. When Füllkrug missed the 2-0 after a corner kick in the 39th minute, Schmidt was there just two minutes later.

And even after the break, the green-whites used their first opportunity to make it 3-0. Again, Füllkrug broke through in a central position and was stopped by a foul on the edge of the penalty area. His strike partner Ducksch converted the free kick that was due.

The last half hour was little more than a Bremen show. Bochum's resistance flagged. And at the same time, direct competitor Hertha BSC also scored a home win against Augsburg. After the fifth defeat in the seventh Bundesliga game of the new year, VfL fell back to a direct relegation zone. Next opponent: bottom of the table Schalke 04.