Berliner Tageblatt - Ducksch doubles up as Bremen sink Stuttgart

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Ducksch doubles up as Bremen sink Stuttgart
Ducksch doubles up as Bremen sink Stuttgart / Photo: © AFP

Ducksch doubles up as Bremen sink Stuttgart

Werder Bremen took a major step to ensuring Bundesliga football next season as Marvin Ducksch scored a brace in a 2-1 home win over high-flying Stuttgart on Sunday.

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The victory, Bremen's first since mid-February, lifts Ole Werner's side to 34 points, eight clear of the relegation play-off spot and above a clutch of teams living dangerously near the drop.

For the visitors, who have guaranteed at least a Europa League place for next season, the loss was their first since January.

After coming through a two-legged relegation play-off last season to stay in the top flight, Stuttgart sit third, three points behind second-placed Bayern Munich.

Stuttgart winger Jamie Leweling brought down Felix Agu in the box on 27 minutes and the referee pointed to the spot.

Ducksch stepped up and slotted the ball past the outstretched hand of Stuttgart 'keeper Alexander Nuebel.

Former Bremen youth team player Deniz Undav, on loan at Stuttgart from Brighton, had a golden chance to equalise on the cusp of half-time, but headed against the crossbar.

Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness made two changes at the interval but Bremen started the second half better, Ducksch finishing off an intricate, length-of-the-field passing move to double their lead.

Stuttgart gave themselves hope of snatching at least a point when Undav pulled a goal back on the 71-minute mark, his 17th goal of the Bundesliga campaign.

Top scorer Serhou Guirassy went down under heavy attention in the box in the 87th minute but was ruled to be offside, denying the striker a chance to level things up from the spot.

Later on Sunday, newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen will hope to continue their unbeaten season when they visit Borussia Dortmund.

Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen, who won their first league title last week with a 5-0 home win over Bremen, are bidding to become the first team in Bundesliga history not to lose a match across a campaign in all competitions.