After an even opening period, Wout Weghorst edged Oliver Glasner’s side in front with an instinctive header before Marcel Tisserand’s sending-off for a second bookable offence just before half-time threatened to let the hosts back into the game. However, a strong second half display and a poacher’s finish from Joao Victor gave the Green-and-Whites their first win since beating Union Berlin on Matchday 7.
Trio of comebacks
The teamsheet made for happy reading before kick-off as Koen Casteels, who had been out of action since the 1-1 draw with Paderborn on 31 August, returned to make just his fifth competitive outing of the season following injury. Admir Mehmedi also made his comeback after seven weeks on the sidelines, while John Brooks came into the three-man backline in place of Robin Knoche. Xaver Schlager came off the bench in the second half for a brief cameo outing following injury, replacing Maximilian Arnold, who played his 200th Bundesliga game for VfL.
Weghorst breaks the deadlock
It was an open, engaging affair from the off in Frankfurt and Casteels was given the chance to shake off the cobwebs early on with a fine save from a Goncalo Paciencia header, before coming off his line to punch the ensuing corner clear too. At the other end of the pitch, William gave the first signal of the Wolves’ intent when he latched onto Josuha Guilavogui’s threaded pass to go one-on-one with Frankfurt goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald, who came off his line to make a good save.
VfL took the lead shortly afterwards though, when Arnold’s goal-bound shot from just outside the penalty area was diverted in off Weghorst’s head for the Dutchman’s sixth league goal of the season. The Green-and-Whites looked comfortable and had been solid at the back, with Casteels only rarely called into action, but the complexion of the game changed on the stroke of half-time when Tisserand was shown a second yellow card.
Victor eases the nerves
Knoche came on for Mehmedi at the interval as Glasner reshuffled his side in anticipation of a wave of Frankfurt pressure. His prediction proved correct as the hosts pushed for an early equaliser, which they thought they had found within moments of the restart, only for former Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost’s effort to be correctly ruled out for offside. Any thoughts that the Wolves might sit back and defend their lead were soon dispelled, however, as Jeffrey Bruma and Weghorst both went close with headers from set-pieces.
Frankfurt failed to heed those warning signs and paid the price when Joao Victor doubled VfL’s lead. His pace and pressure forced home custodian Wiedwald into a mistake inside his own penalty area, leaving the Brazilian with a simple tap-in from close range. The home team poured forward in the closing stages as they sought a way back into the match and although Casteels made a number of saves, including a superb block late on to keep out Erik Durm, the Wolves held firm to record their fifth league win of 2019/20.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Wiedwald – Hinteregger, Hasebe (c), Ndicka (Da Costa 61’) – Durm, Sow, Rode (Kamada 46’), Gacinovic (Silva 68’), Kostic - Paciencia, Dost
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Tisserand, Bruma, Brooks - William, Guilavogui (c), Arnold (Schlager 87’), Roussillon – Mehmedi (Knoche 46’), Victor (Steffen 77’) - Weghorst
Goals: Weghorst (19’), Victor (65’)
Yellow cards: Arnold, Tisserand (2), Guilavogui, Steffen / Sow, Hinteregger, Kostic
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)