Following an impressive victory over Mainz and a late DFB-Pokal victory against Kiel, FC Augsburg were unable to complete the perfect week on Sunday. FCA fell to a 4-0 defeat against a clinical SV Werder Bremen side who were clinical in front of goal.
FC Augsburg head coach Manuel Baum made five changes to the side that secured a place in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals. Jonathan Schmid, Jan Moravek and Alfred Finnbogason all missed the victory in Kiel with injury and returned to the starting lineup. Kostas Stafylidis and Dong-Won Ji also returned to the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Kevin Danso and Felix Götze missed the trip to Bremen with injury. Marco Richter, André Hahn and Sergio Córdova all started on the bench.
Werder started the match as the stronger side and took an early lead as Milot Rashica burst clear down the left wing before cutting inside and firing home (5’). The hosts sat back after scoring but remained dangerous as Theodor Gebre Selassie got on the end of a free-kick. However, the Czech defender could only fire a header wide (12’).
Two Werder goals in two minutes – FCA miss two huge chances
Augsburg enjoyed a lot more possession compared with the hosts but the Green-Whites didn’t allow anything through defence. FCA created their first clear chance of the match in the 23rd minute as Reece Oxford fired a header over the bar following a Philipp Max cross. However, Werder remained clinical at the other end of the pitch. The hosts doubled their lead in fortunate circumstances in the 27th minute as a free-kick fell straight into the path of Johannes Eggestein. The young Werder attacker was on hand to fire home the second goal of the afternoon. Just a minute later, Rashica was played in via a counter attack and the Kosovo attacker curled the ball beyond FCA goalkeeper Gregor Kobel to give the Bremen club a 3-0 lead (28’).
Despite the large deficit, FCA chose not to sit back and the visitors went search of a route back into the match. Schmid forced Werder goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka into a fine save in the 33rd minute before FCA created two huge chances to make the score 3-1 before half-time. Michael Gregoritsch was played in one-on-one with the keeper but Pavlenka forced him wide and kept his clean sheet (41’). Just a minute later, Finnbogason was denied by the Czech goalkeeper as Werder led 3-0 at the interval (43’).
Few second half highlights – Möhwald seals the Werder victory
At the start of the second half, FCA continued to attack as they went in search of a goal. However, Werder sought to build on their 3-0 lead as Max Kruse fired a shot over the bar after a counter attack (49’). At the other end, Daniel Baier had a shot from long distance which didn’t trouble Pavlenka (52’). In this period, Augsburg were unable to put the Werder defence under enough pressure to force a way through. Much of the play took place in the middle third as neither side created many chances.
Bremen started to sit back, relying on counter attacks to build on their 3-0 lead. At the other end, Augsburg rarely threatened, Dong-Won Ji firing a shot well wide in the 70th minute. The match lacked many second half highlights – until the 83rd minute. After a deflected cross, Kevin Möhwald fired home in the penalty box to give Werder their fourth goal of the afternoon. There was something for FCA fans to cheer about in the closing stages, as Jozo Stanic came off the bench to make his Bundesliga debut. However, after two consecutive wins, FCA fell to a clear defeat.
FC Augsburg return to action this Friday night (15th February, 20:30 CET) at home in the WWK ARENA. FCA will host the Bavarian derby against FC Bayern München but will be without captain Daniel Baier. The veteran midfielder will miss the match through suspension.