Hamburg put their midweek derby defeat behind them to inflict yet more misery on another northern rival in Werder Bremen.Armin Veh's decision to bench star striker Ruud van Nistelrooy paid off as Hamburg gained three vital points in the race for a European spot, triumphing 4-0 against bitter rivals Werder Bremen in the Nordderby. Hamburg strikers Mladen Petric and Jose Paolo Guerrero were on the scoresheet in a convincing victory, as was Anis Ben-Hatira.
Die Rothosen opened the scoring in the 42nd minute with a well-worked move, which exposed Bremen's defensive frailties. Mikael Silvestre lost possession after a poor touch from Per Mertesacker. Jonathan Pitroipa played a one-two with captain Heiko Westermann before squaring the ball into the danger area. He found Mladen Petric, who volleyed home on his less-favored right foot.
Another Mertesacker blunder gifted Hamburg their second goal in the 64th minute. After Dominik Schmidt's risky header, the giant center-back was robbed just outside his own penalty area by Petric, who took the ball into the box. With Sebastian Mielitz committed, the former Basel striker calmly squared the ball to Paolo Guerrero, who rolled his shot into the empty net.
The Peruvian doubled his personal tally with just over ten minutes remaining as it became clear this game was turning into the Per Mertesacker horror show. Mertesacker lost out to Westermann, who found Guerrero inside the penalty area. The former Bayern man kept his cool to find the bottom corner with a smart finish, giving Mielitz no chance.
Yet more salt was rubbed into Bremen wounds as Hamburg added a late fourth goal with four minutes remaining. Substitute Anis Ben-Hatira was sent clear courtesy of a superb Ze Roberto pass and he rounded Mielitz before lifting the ball into the empty net. It was nothing less than HSV deserved.
The home side had been under pressure after another derby defeat to St Pauli but looked sharp from the kick off. In the eighth minute, Hamburg captain Westermann, operating in midfield today, played the ball across goal looking for Petric but Mertesacker made a crucial sliding interception.
Bremen are another giant of the Bundesliga failing to live up to expectations and although outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, they too had their moments. Marko Marin's cutback was easily stopped by Frank Rost on 21 minutes and Clemens Fritz gave the former Werder goalie a sterner test with his shot on the half-hour, having shrugged off the challenge of Gojko Kacar.
Hamburg remain in seventh place on 36 points, twelve ahead of Bremen, who are hovering just above the relegation zone. Armin Veh's men travel next weekend to face a Kaiserslautern side in freefall at the moment whilst Werder's next opponents are none other than second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who travel north to the Weserstadion.
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