Things haven’t gone well for Hamburg and Werder Bremen this season and the two clubs find themselves in the bottom three and they were both looking for their third wins of the season in this Nordderby clash.
Coming into the derby Hamburg have struggled, however it’s understandable given that they’ve come up against the top teams in the league, the last three games has seen them lose to Bayern and Wolfsburg, while they picked up a surprise win against Bayer Leverkusen at the beginning of the month. Bremen have hit form at the right time ahead of this derby, their two wins came in their last two games, a 2-1 win over Mainz and a 2-0 win against Stuttgart.
Hamburg made the better start out of the two and one of the best early chances fell to Heiko Westermann, the defender headed just over the bar after Rafael van der Vaart’s freekick into the area. Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Mohamed Gouaida’s first bit of play on his Hamburg debut saw him set the ball to Lasogga, however the big striker could only fire into Raphael Wolf’s arms. The Bremen keeper was again called into action when Lewis Holtby fired a good shot at goal after his charge forward.
Jaroslav Drobný wasn’t called upon on too many occasions during the first half, however Bremen did threaten when Assani Lukimya directed Zlatko Junuzović’s freekick towards goal with his head. This was only the second time Drobný was called into action, firstly was a shot from Junuzović, which was straight at him.
Hamburg came very close to opening the scoring early in the second half, a lovely cross into the box from Matthias Ostrzolek was about to drop nicely for Holtby at the back post, unfortunately for the hosts Santiago García was there to put the ball over his own bar.
Bremen once again threatened from a freekick, it was a dangerous position for Junuzović to have a go at goal and although it was a great attempt Drobný managed to get across well and kept hold of the curling effort. Freekicks seemed to be the best Bremen could come up with to threaten the Hamburg goal and they almost took the lead when Junuzović delivered a terrific ball in, this was met by a fantastic leap from García and Drobný matched the header with a tremendous save and Alejandro Gálvez couldn’t direct the rebound in.
Just as the game entered the last ten minutes Hamburg finally opened the scoring. Substitute Ashton Götz put a monster of a throw into the area and despite not being under pressure Lukimya could only flick the ball on and Artoms Rudņevs was there to pounce and poke past Wolf.
Bremen pushed for an equaliser and Drobný was called upon when Davie Selke broke free and his cross had to be palm over, Gálvez was lurking at the back post had the Hamburg keeper not reacted to the cross.
Just before the end Bremen’s hopes of a late equaliser was squashed when Clemens Fritz picked up his second booking of the game, leaving his side with ten men and not much hope. They were almost punished late on as Lasogga charged forward down the left and after deciding to ignore his team-mates he fired his shot across goal and just wide.
Hamburg sealed the win in injury time, they caught Bremen on the break and Lasogga broke away once again this time down the right and it was four against two. Lasogga did the right thing in squaring the ball to Tolgay Arslan, who almost made a mess of things as he slide in and his shot hit the post and just crept in thanks to the help of Wolf. Right at the end Rudņevs almost made it three, however he was denied a second as Wolf made a good save to deny the Latvian.
This certainly wasn’t the most exciting derby game you’ll see, however it was tightly contested and did provide us with plenty of late drama. Derby delight for Hamburg as they get a much needed victory and a deserved one at that. Next for Hamburg they have the tough task of facing Augsburg on Saturday and for Bremen they will hope to recover against Bundesliga newboys Paderborn, which will also be a tough task.
Article for VAVEL.