After a poor start to the season, Bremen have struggled in both the Champions League and Bundesliga, but they enjoyed plenty of luck against ‘Gladbach as they picked up their third win from their last four league games.
“We didn’t make it difficult for Werder, we are in a tough spot and we have to face up to it,” said ‘Gladbach coach Michael Frontzeck with his side 16th in the table.
In the Champions League, Bremen are third in Group A and five points behind leaders Inter Milan, but against ‘Gladbach they showed glimpses of the form which has all but deserted them so far in the German league.
Germany winger Marko Marin opened the scoring when he slammed in a direct free-kick on five minutes and then Brazilian midfielder Wesley netted in the 13th minute after the ball took a helping hand from goalkeeper Logan Bailly.
The Belgian was unlucky again when Aaron Hunt’s shot took a deflection off a ‘Gladbach defender and flew into the back of the hosts net on 51 minutes.
Bremen’s luck ran out when Germany defender Per Mertesacker could only watch as the ball struck his foot after 21-year-old goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz, on his league debut, made a save as ‘Gladbach pulled a goal back on 67 minutes.
But Bremen made sure of the three points when Peru striker Claudio Pizarro scored the fourth on 75 minutes to become the top foreign scorer in Bundesliga history with 134, the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea man passing former Bayern star Giovane Elber.
With leaders Dortmund and second-placed Mainz playing on Sunday, Hanover are up to third in the table after their 2-1 win over Cologne after Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan netted twice.
Freiburg striker Stefan Reisinger scored just four minutes after coming off the bench to score a 60th-minute winner to seal the 2-1 win over Kaiserslautern while Nuremberg also enjoyed a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg. Schalke are up to 15th in the table after their goalless draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We are clearly struggling after we play in the Champions League,” said Magath after his side beat Hapoel Tel Aviv 3-1 last week.
“I am pleased we didn’t conceed a goal, but it was a mistake to give the players the day off on Thursday. We will now train the day after a game for the rest of the season.”
On Sunday, leaders Dortmund are home to Hoffenheim while Mainz are at Leverkusen and bottom side Stuttgart host St Pauli.
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal admitted Friday he was disappointed with the Bundesliga champions goalless draw in Hamburg, but insisted his side ‘gave everything they had’.
Bayern are 11th in the table after Friday night’s draw, but remain nine points behind leaders Dortmund who host Hoffenheim on Sunday.
German giants Bayern were seeking a first win in Hamburg for five years but they settled for a point without captain Mark van Bommel, defender Daniel van Buyten, striker Miroslav Klose, plus playmakers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Hamburg could have taken all three points right at the end of the game when Burkino Faso midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa beat the defence and curved his shot around Bayern goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt, but his effort hit the post.