Werder Bremen coach under pressure after 3rd straight defeat
BERLIN (AP) — Pressure is mounting on Werder Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik after his side surrendered the lead and lost its third straight game.
Skripnik’s side was defeated 2-1 at home to Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday. That came after a 6-0 rout by Bayern Munich on the opening weekend of the league, and Bremen was also knocked out in the first round of the German Cup by a third-division side.
Against Augsburg, Bremen struggled to create chances despite former Arsenal midfielder Serge Gnabry impressing on his debut for the club.
Skripnik fielded the highly-rated Gnabry, 21, with injuries ruling out forwards Claudio Pizarro, Max Kruse and Justin Eilers.
A penalty from Aron Johannsson just before the break gave Bremen a halftime lead but Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Konstantinos Stafylidis scored for Augsburg to celebrate its first league win of the season.
Alfred Finnbogason almost put the visitors ahead around the half-hour mark when he broke free and chipped Bremen ’keeper Felix Wiedwald, only to see his effort go just wide from a difficult angle.
Gnabry showed a glimpse of his potential with some brilliant play to set up Fin Bartels, who wasted the chance by blazing over.
But Johannsson made no mistake from the penalty spot in first-half injury time. Martin Hinteregger conceded it on his Augsburg debut by bringing down Zlatko Junuzovic.
It was as good as it got for Bremen.
Gouweleeuw equalized early in the second half, grabbing his first Bundesliga goal from a central position after a corner, and Greek defender Stafylidis scored what proved to be the winner with a fine free kick in the 74th.
Caiuby missed a good chance to seal the result minutes later, but his side got through five minutes of injury time to claim its first points.
MAINZ 4, HOFFENHEIM 4
Andrej Kramaric was the influential figure as Hoffenheim recovered from a three-goal deficit to draw 4-4 at Mainz.
The home side raced into a commanding lead with two goals from Argentine striker Pablo De Blasis in the opening 23 minutes and another from Jhon Cordoba four minutes later.
Sandro Wagner pulled one back in the 39th minute only for Levin Oztunali to restore Mainz’ three-goal advantage before the break.
But Hoffenheim was given a boost when Gaeten Bussmann was sent off as the last defender for bringing down Kramaric in the 57th.
Kramaric set up Mark Uth to score in the 71st, and the Hoffenheim forward grabbed his second a minute later.
There was still time for Kramaric to set up Adam Szalai for the equalizer with six minutes remaining.