Pierre-Michel Lasogga proved to be crucial as Hamburger SV boosted their survival prospects at the expense of relegation-threatened Werder Bremen at Imtech Arena on Friday evening.
- Hamburg 2 Bremen 1
- Lasogga nets first-half brace
- Pizarro spot-kick saved
- Ujah reduces the deficit on 65 mins
- Hamburg hold on for narrow win
Lasogga broke the deadlock after just five minutes of play, before popping up again in the 32nd minute to double Hamburg’s advantage.
Claudio Pizarro failed to convert from the penalty spot early in the second half, but the visitors eventually pulled one back through Anthony Ujah in the 65th minute.
However, Pizarro’s squandered spot-kick proved to be crucial as Hamburg just about held on to claim a vital three points.
The hosts went into the half-time break with a two-goal cushion, thanks in no small part to the fact they grabbed the lead after just five minutes of play, Lasogga firing into the bottom-left corner from close range following some good work in the build up from Nicolai Müller.
However, Bremen matched their opponents for chances created, but were ultimately let down by a lack of cutting edge in front goal.
Fin Bartels, Florian Grillitsch and Clemens Fritz failed to find the mark for the visitors, while Hamburg showed a cutting edge in front of goal when it mattered most.
After going close through efforts from Michael Gregoritsch and Müller, Hamburg eventually doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute, Lasogga netting his second of the game with a close-range header into the top-left corner.
Bremen didn’t let their heads drop, though, and gave a better account of themselves after the break.
They looked certain to reduce the deficit in the 56th minute when Johan Djourou was adjudged to have fouled Claudio Pizarro in the danger area in the 56th minute. However, Pizarro failed to convert from the spot as Jaroslav Drobny produced a brilliant save to keep the veteran striker at bay.
Drobny’s penalty save provided a brief respite, though, as Bremen continued to push for a goal and got the break through they were looking for in the 65th minute, Ujah heading home from close range in the 65th minute to setup a tense finish to the encounter.
However, Ujah fired wide of the right-hand post just one minute later, before seeing a goal-bound effort kept out on 71 minutes, while team-mate Zlatko Junuzovic also failed to find a way past Drobny, who did well to keep the hosts’ slender lead intact.
Gregoritsch tried his luck with a speculative effort from outside the box in the 77th minute, but saw his goal-bound effort saved in the bottom corner by Bremen keeper Felix Wiedwald.
It was Bremen who ended the second stanza on the front foot, though, with Grillitsch, Papy Djilobodji and Jannik Vestergaard all going close to forcing an equaliser in the remaining minutes.
However, Drobny proved to good on the night as he pulled a number of good saves to ensure Hamburg walked away with all three points.
As a result Hamburg earn some breathing room in the bottom half of the table, while Werder Bremen remain locked in a relegation scrap with the end of the Bundesliga campaign edging closer.
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