Three things we learned as Werder Bremen stunned Bayern Munich to cause an astonishing upset in the Bundesliga title race

Werder Bremen overcame Bayern Munich 1-0 to cause a significant upset in the title race and subsequently recorded their first victory at the Allianz Arena in 16 years. From the outset, it would not be straightforward for Der Rekordmeister, with Bremen causing Thomas Tuchel’s side a number of issues in the first half. Despite seeing just 36% of the ball prior to the interval, the visitors looked dangerous on the counter, and when Justin Njinmah placed the ball past Manuel Neuer, there appeared to be an upset on the cards. However, VAR would intervene to spare Bayern’s blushes, leaving the game goalless going into the break.

Therefore, there was expectation that after the interval, the hosts would step up and look to take the game to Bremen. Regardless, the rhythm of the game continued in a similar manner, with Ole Werner’s side threatening on the counter. Then, on the hour mark, Bremen were rewarded with a tremendous solo goal from Mitchell Weiser to silence the Allianz Arena. Despite chances falling for Bayern afterwards, they were unable to find an answer, as they now stay seven points behind Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga title race, while Bremen move nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Bremen prove their true quality

Coming into their clash at the Allianz Arena, Werder Bremen were enjoying a successful run of four games without defeat in the league. With six points won during that time period, Die Werderaner have been able to create a healthy buffer between them and those fighting for their Bundesliga status below them.

Therefore, for those connected with Bremen, this almost would have felt like a free hit travelling to Munich to take on Der Rekordmeister. However, after the first half, Ole Werner’s side would have been wondering how they had failed to take advantage of the opportunities they created. Two impressive saves from Manuel Neuer, as well as an intervention from VAR, prevented Bremen from taking a surprise lead on Bayern soil.

However, as the clock ticked on, Bremen’s defensive solidity continued to frustrate Bayern, while their attacking presence failed to disappear. After limiting Thomas Tuchel’s side to half chances, they were rewarded when Mitchell Weiser danced his way through Bayern’s backline to fire past Neuer. It was a performance that indicates the true quality of this Bremen side, and it could give them the confidence they need to build upon during the Rückrunde.

Bayern feel the pressure

After Bayer Leverkusen’s impressive victory away to RB Leipzig on Saturday evening, the impetus was on Der Rekordmeister to keep up with the Werkself in the Bundesliga title race. Sitting seven points behind Xabi Alonso’s side in top spot prior to kick-off, Thomas Tuchel would have known the importance the upcoming week has.

A positive result at home to Bremen would have put Bayern in the right direction heading into their game in hand against Union Berlin on Wednesday evening. However, from the first whistle, Bayern struggled to get a foothold on a game that Bremen seemed to be in complete control of.

Unable to break down the stubborn Bremen backline, they failed to handle the counter attack employed by Ole Werner’s side, and when Mitchell Weiser broke the deadlock on the hour mark, there was a sense that Bayern were going to slip up. As Tuchel explained during the week, there is pressure on everyone in the title race, but for Bayern, the pressure may have become too much.

Justin Njinmah sparkles for Bremen

It has been a strange season for Werder Bremen. After surviving in their first campaign back in the Bundesliga last season, there was hope that Ole Werner’s side would be able to kick on and move up the Bundesliga table.

However, the loss of Niclas Füllkrug has impacted Bremen’s output in the final third, and without being able to replace his goal-scoring nous, they have been unable to show their true quality. Nevertheless, in Justin Njinmah, Die Werderaner could have their next superstar.

With three successful dribbles and five duels won, Njinmah caused endless issues for Der Rekordmeister. As well as this, his combination of electrifying pace and remarkable hold-up play meant that he was at the centre of everything positive for Bremen going forward, and it was his hold-up play that allowed Mitchell Weister to progress forward for his goal. With five goal contributions this season, more will be expected of him, but if this performance is anything to go by, then he certainly could be the future for Bremen.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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