Werder Bremen remains in the Bundesliga against all odds.
I may never need to buy a ticket to a theatre show ever again because Werder Bremen has provided enough drama this season to last me a lifetime.
As the season neared its end, Bremen found themselves consistently in the 17th spot in the table headed for automatic relegation. As they headed into the final matchday still in 17th place, they had a shot at squeaking into 16th place with a win, but still had to rely on Dusseldorf losing to Union Berlin.
Bremen have been aggravating to watch all season. They are not without talent, but the talent seemed to lie dormant for most of the season only awakening on the rare occasion.
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But come to life they did in their final game smashing Koln with a whopping 6 goals to finish the game with a 6-1 win, a win that would save them from automatic relegation as Dusseldorf fell 3-0 to Union Berlin.
I don’t know what team that was that put on the Bremen jerseys against Koln, but they were on fire. Yuya Osako and Milot Rashica were playing out of their minds and the team showed a desire and determination, previously unseen.
As they headed into the relegation playoff matches against Bundesliga 2 team Heidenheim, I thought I could finally breathe. Surely after they took Koln to town there was no way they could fall to a lower level team.
But in typical Bremen fashion, they made it clear the drama and stress were far from over. In fact, it wouldn’t be until the 97th minute of the 2nd game that I would finally be able to breathe.
The first round in Bremen was nothing to write home about. Bremen looked like the fire had been zapped right out of them.
Despite their lackluster play, they kept the result to a 0-0 draw at home which would prove crucial as the away goals rule would ultimately determine their fate.
On Monday the final relegation playoff match kicked off and saw Bremen off to a shocking 1-0 lead after Heidenheim scored an own goal that just screamed nerves.
Both teams had their chances but just when it looked like Bremen might hold off their attackers until the end, they found themselves digging the ball out of the back of their own net in the 85th minute.
The final 5 minutes of the game dragged on for an eternity (at least for Bremen supporters) and when it was announced there would be 5 minutes of added time, stress levels rose again.
Bremen scored their second goal in the 94th minute. I cried, the team dog-piled and pumped their fists and everyone including Heidenheim’s coaching staff had “game over” written all over their face.
But no, it’s Werder Bremen remember. Even when they succeed they make you sweat. They gave up a PK in the 97th minute followed by the final whistle blow.
A 2-2 tie in an away game meant against all odds, the team that dished out heart attack after heart attack all season was miraculously staying in the Bundesliga for another year.
It’s time for me to go nap and bring my heart rate down before Bremen returns for what I can only hope will be a more inspiring Bundesliga season. But as always Auf Gehts Bremen and thank you for what was certainly a season I won’t soon forget.