Dutch striker Wout Weghorst led as Wolfsburg scored in late to claim victory for his 12th goal of the Bundesliga season and put more pressure on Werder Bremen, who was threatened with relegation.
Bremen made the brighter start on home soil but it was visitors from Wolfsburg who got the first sight of the goal, with Josip Brekalo turning inside and flashing a large post effort. The Wolves’ top scorer Weghorst then found himself one-on-one with Jiri Pavlenka after a nice touch to get away from Milos Veljkovic, but the Czech keeper got a hand to the Dutchman’s dinked attempt, allowing Veljkovic to clear off the line.
Both sides looked well-organized defensively, with Maximilian Arnold putting his body on the line to block Josh Sargent, and Kevin Vogt in the right position to deflect the side-footed shot out from Admir Mehmedi for a corner. On the half-hour mark, the half’s best chance fell to Bremen’s Yuya Osako, but Koen Casteels paddled off Japan’s well-struck effort forward as both sides canceled each other out in a strong first 45 minutes.
Chances were in a premium early in the second half with Davy Klaassen having an attempt blocked just over by US defender John Brooks and Ludwig Augustinsson fizzing a free-kick. The heavens opened shortly after the hour mark, with the torrential rain making playing conditions difficult, as both coaches brought on fresh legs.
The Wolfsburg midfielder Xaver Schlager fired over after a training-ground corner drill, before unleashing a magnificent long-range attempt that clipped the top of the crossbar.
The game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until Kevin Mbabu made a key interception in the midfield and fed Felix Klaus, whose inch-perfect cross from the right was headed home by Weghorst-his first goal since the Bundesliga restart. With Weghorst coming close again and Brekalo drawing a smart stop from Pavlenka, the visitors had opportunities to add to their lead.
Bremen put all they had on the Wolves in the final minutes but struggled to prevent the 11th loss in 15 home games this season. Florian Kohfeldt ‘s side still has three spot adrift relegation play-off points and six outright security points.