Two goals from Nils Petersen were enough for Bremen to end their three-game losing streak and edge back into the top half of the table, leaving Hamburg in the bottom three after a fourth defeat in six games.
Rodolfo Cardoso and Tomas Rincon, who replaced Thorsten Fink as coach on Tuesday, therefore did their chances of keeping the job on a regular basis no good, although the pressure is alleviated a little on Bremen coach Robin Dutt.
Hamburg responded to their poor start to the season by parting company with Fink on Tuesday, but Bremen stuck with Dutt in spite of a run of three straight defeats.
Their patient approach paid dividends too in the 99th northern Germany derby, which started with a Santiago Garcia effort which was just a foot wide of the left-hand post in the sixth minute.
The next chance of the game also came Bremen's way with Petersen's close-range shot blocked on the line by Zhi-Gin Lam with Rene Adler beaten.
It was the second goal-line clearance of the game after Adler had kept out Assani Lukimya's header, but there was no keeping out Bremen's next attempt from Petersen, who had nobody between him and the goal as he opened the scoring from Clemens Fritz's pass in the 32nd minute.
Hamburg responded well and could have had a penalty before the interval when Milan Badelj went to ground under the challenge of Luca Caldirola, but the referee waved away his appeals, as well as those of 50,000 in the stands.
Hamburg had to take risks in the second half as they searched for an equaliser, and in doing so, they gifted Petersen with the chance to make it two for Bremen, but he shot straight at Adler with only the Hamburg goalkeeper to beat.
Gaps continued to appear in the Hamburg defence as they threw caution to the wind, and Petersen did not waste his next chance, lobbing Adler with the final kick of the game to seal victory.