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Werder Bremen left to rue what-ifs after capitulation to Bayern Munich

Against a Bayern team less than lethal, Bremen had a chance to write a different story.

SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

This isn't a Bayern Munich team at the height of their powers. Though they're improving now under Thomas Tuchel, the Bavarians are still lacking consistent conviction in front of goal and failing to break down stubborn defenses early — leaving just enough opportunity for their opponents to seize the initiative, if they're lucky.

Bremen had more than one chance to do so in the first half of their 1-2 eventual defeat to Bayern on Saturday, and their only goal came late in the game’s dying moments. Players and coach lamented the outcome, with quotes gathered via

“At the end of the day, Bayern were better,” said Werder Bremen midfielder Christian Groß. “We put everything on the line and had one or two scoring chances, although unfortunately we didn’t convert them. We should have taken the lead. If you don’t do that, Bayern will crush you at some point.”

Bremen win a ball in midfield as Bayern’s midfield is completely absent, even near their own goal.
Midfield vacancy by the Bavarians leading to a scoring opportunity for Christian Groß.
ESPN FC / YouTube

Groß had a plum opportunity himself late in the first half when Bayern failed to clear properly. No midfielders were in sight to counter Bremen’s recovery — Joshua Kimmich’s position in the defensive line left everything for an advanced Ryan Gravenberch to deal with — but Groß skied a close-range effort over the bar.

It wasn’t all bad, though — and it took two nice moments from Bayern that hadn’t always looked like they were coming to undo the home side.

“Our plan actually worked out quite well. We wanted to keep the spaces tight and as you saw, Bayern had problems with that,” said teammate Leonardo Bittencourt said.

“The game today was very, very positive,” agreed head coach Ole Werner after the match. “We defended passionately and played courageously going forward. The only thing that we lacked today was coolness in front of goal, but that’s exactly what you need if you want to beat Bayern. Overall, we played very well, even if we could actually have done better. Still, there’s no reason to let our heads drop.”

Bremen conclude their season with matches at RB Leipzig, vs. FC Köln, and at Union Berlin.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:

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