Berlin, Nov 28: Naldo's powerful free kick helped Werder Bremen move back up to fourth in the Bundesliga table with a 2-0 win for over Stuttgart on Sunday.
Brazilian defender Naldo unleashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area into the top right corner in the 67th minute, as Bremen coped without the injured Claudio Pizarro to bounce back from a 5-0 mauling at Borussia Moenchengladbach last week.
Aaron Hunt broke the deadlock in the 57th, when the 25-year-old saw off Khalid Boulahrouz's weak challenge before slotting through Sven Ulreich's legs.
Ulreich had earlier pulled off a string of saves to keep the score level, the 23-year-old denying Markus Rosenberg in the 15th and twice getting the better of Marko Arnautovic in the first half.
Serdar Tasci came closest for Stuttgart in the 41st, when his header from a corner produced a great save from Tim Wiese.
The visitors might have gone ahead in the 52nd, but Martin Harnik was unable to direct his header on target after Christian Molinaro's good cross.
Clemens Fritz spotted Hunt's run into the penalty area five minutes later for the midfielder's third goal of the season, before Naldo claimed his first.
"Many players weren't at their normal levels today," said Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia after his side missed the chance to overtake Bremen. "We just weren't as consistent as we were in previous weeks."
Bayern Munich had the chance to reclaim the Bundesliga lead at Mainz later Sunday.