Almeida fires Bremen
Hugo Almeida scored a hattrick but was then red-carded as Werder Bremen took the first step in salvaging a disappointing season on Sunday by defeating St. Pauli 3-0 and snapping a seven-game winless streak.Almeida scored in the first and 20th minutes to give Bremen a 2-0 lead before the Portuguese international added a third goal in the 64th minute as Werder ended their drought stretching through league, German Cup and Champions League action.
But Almeida was then given his marching orders in the 80th minute for an elbow to Carlos Zambrano. And St. Pauli's Markus Thorandt also saw red in the 90th minute.
Almeida's first goal came just 52 seconds into the game after Bremen had not scored in their last five matches.
Bremen have been bounced out of the German Cup and the Champions League and failed to qualify for the Europa League, meaning Thomas Schaaf's team can focus solely on saving their Bundesliga season - where they stand 11th on the table with 18 points - five points from a Europa League spot.
"I had been fouled a lot during the whole game and I just lost my nerve. But that cannot happen and I apologise to the club and my team-mates," said Almeida about his red card.
Wolfsburg were later out to move past Bremen with a victory later Sunday at second-to-last Cologne.
The leaders after the 14th round of games are still Borussia Dortmund, who retained their seven-point lead atop the Bundesliga with a come-from-behind 4-1 victory at home Saturday night over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Werder Bremen 3 (Almeida 1,
20, 64) St Pauli 0
FC Cologne v VfL Wolfsburg - late result