Johansson chips it to Eggestein, who pokes the ball past the onrushing Fährmann and he is taken out by the Schalke ‘keeper. Red? Penalty? No! Werder score the winner. Junuzovic keeps on running and slides the ball home from 3 yards out in the dying seconds to get the decisive goal. 2-1. Ecstasy on the pitch and in the Werder end. The Green-Whites celebrate the first three points of the year. These pictures will live long in the memory despite the first 75 minutes being tough and hard-going. Amongst the players and the coaching staff, there was a big dose of realism along with the joy of winning the game in the mixed zone.
WERDER.DE put together all the reaction from the Green-Whites after the game.
Maximilian Eggestein: “We made it harder for ourselves today than in previous matches. We had more possession in the first half but we weren’t very purposeful with it. That was obviously also down to the great Schalke defence. We were lucky at the start of the second half that Schalke didn’t make the most of the space that we gave them. Perhaps based on the performance, Schalke deserved the result a bit more than us but we had luck on our side today. That hasn’t been the case recently.”
Theodor Gebre Selassie: “It wasn’t easy today. I think that we had some good passages of play but it wasn’t one of our best performances. After the equaliser and how we’d played, I really believed that we would be able to go on and get a winner. And it’s that much better that we actually got the winner.
Max Kruse: “After the break and after the equaliser were two mad phases of the game. We conceded lots of chances in those phases but we were compact over the course of the game. The second yellow card was definitely a turning point especially with the equaliser coming straight after it. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter to me the manner in which we’ve won it. The only thing that matters is that we won.”
Florian Kohfeldt: “I’m not 100% happy with the performance today and neither are the boys. Despite that, I think we were better in the first half than it looked from an outsider’s point of view. We kept Schalke at arm’s length and had more possession. The problem was that Schalke were really concentrated in defence and we couldn’t get in behind them. The first twenty minutes of the second 45 weren’t good. We wanted to defend higher up the pitch but we couldn’t really do that and we were lucky that Schalke didn’t kill off the game at that point. Despite that, I believed that we could turn it around because Schalke gave us a bit more space. After the equaliser I was a bit torn because we always want to win but I didn’t want us to lose our shape. The closing stages were crazy but I let the boys play their game. You can, as a player, be affected by the dynamic of a game but it ended really well for us.”
Maximilian Eggestein: Yes, perhaps it was a lucky victory. We didn’t have as many chances today as we have had in previous weeks but to be completely honest, I don’t care. It’s the fight to stay up, the only thing that counts is points and I’m absolutely delighted that we got the win today.”
Theodor Gebre Selassie: “It is amazing to win in the last minute. They are really important points for us. The celebrations and the relief after the final whistle were therefore huge.”
Max Kruse: “You could tell in recent weeks that we don’t get thrown by much. That was the case once again today. Even though we went behind, we didn’t give in. After the equaliser, we could’ve given it away again. If the ball had gone in instead of hitting the post, we would probably be standing here empty-handed. But that didn’t unsettle us either.”
Florian Kohfeldt: “Perhaps we deserved to win the games in previous weeks and today we forced the victory. It wasn’t our best performance but we played against third in the table today, you can’t forget that. The boys showed a lot of character today. I am really happy with the win.”
Maximilian Eggestein: “You could tell that the chemistry with the rest of the team probably wasn’t there but that is understandable considering he has trained twice with us. So that is completely normal. Despite that you can see the sort of quality that he brings. For that reason I am excited to see what the next few weeks bring for him.”
Milot Rashica: “It was obviously a really special game for me. I am so happy to make my Bundesliga debut but I am even happier about the win. The game was something else and like nothing I’ve experience before. The tempo was higher, the atmosphere was unbelievable. Our fans were amazing – even though it was an away game. That was impressive. Of course I still need to get used to the way we play and our tactics but I gave it my all today.”
Max Kruse: “Milot has been with us for three days. It is clear that he is not going to have taken everything in after two sessions. But I think he showed us today how helpful he will be for the team.”
Florian Kohfeldt: “He showed us three or four times today how good he is. He fought hard and brought something extra to our game so I am really happy with his performance. I had planned to bring him off relatively early in the second half before the game.”
Maximilian Eggestein: “I think that it is really important for our confidence that we have got out of the relegation places. We do know, however, that we have a long road ahead of us and we are still right in the mix of the relegation battle.”
Theodor Gebre Selassie: “We are still in a dangerous position. So I’m not that interested in the table today, to be honest. We just need to keep on fighting.”
Max Kruse: “Our opening fixtures haven’t been easy this year. The win is really important for our current situation but we know how many hard games we have ahead of us, lots of which we need to win.”
Florian Kohfeldt: “Obviously it is that bit nicer to be out of the relegation places but it’s only on goal difference. The points that we have now won’t be enough whatsoever so our position isn’t really relevant. We need to stay alert and keep on picking up points.”