Werder Bremen improved on last week's collapse to Koeln, but it was not enough to earn even a point as the struggling Hanseaten lost a 1-0 lead to fall to a 3-1 at the hands of Bayern Munich.
After a lively first half in which both sides had their share of chances, centre half Per Mertesacker (47') fired home the opener with all the precision of a top striker. An incensed Bayern fought back, however, and Arjen Robben restored parity in the 65th minute. Moments later, the hosts were denied a clear penalty before Mertesacker turned from hero to villain as he accidentally deflected in for 2-1 for Bayern. Substitute Miroslav Klose added a third in the 86th minute and to make matters worse, Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese was sent off in the closing moments after committing a reckless foul.
Bremen were out on the attack from the opening whistle, and it took less than a minute for Clemens Fritz to find his way through on goal, but the defender-turned-midfielder had his shot saved well by Thomas Kraft. Mikael Silvestre also missed narrowly wide with a header in an opening quarter hour that was dominated by the hosts.
Bayern improved significantly, but strong defending from the hosts denied them a goal before the break. Mario Gomez had an excellent effort denied by an even more impressive save from Tim Wiese, and the Bayern striker also had a header miss narrowly wide after the Bremen goalkeeper failed to punch clear.
Mertesacker's goal early in the second half gave Bremen just the boost they needed, but simultaneously injected Bayern with more urgency. Bastian Schweinsteiger had an equaliser called back before Danijel Pranjic whipped in a cross that Robben hammered home in front of the underwhelming Mikael Silvestre.
Entering the final quarter hour of the game, Bremen had a clear penalty denied after Luiz Gustavo committed a hand ball, and were left cursing their luck when Mertesacker redirected a Mario Gomez cross into his own net.
Late in the match, Bremen were forced to devote more and more resources to attack, but struggled to gain and maintain possession, and never looked like equalising. Klose made it 3-1 after a calamitous mistake from Torsten Frings, who cheaply conceded possession deep in his own half. In his frustration, Wiese then kicked Thomas Mueller in the chest as he tried to clear a long ball, and for his reckless challenge was sent off.
The result sees Bayern advance to third in the Bundesliga table, three points behind Leverkusen. Bremen drop to 15th, and are now flirting with relegation.