A solid defensive display earned VfL Wolfsburg a valuable point in their battle against relegation as they drew 0-0 at Hertha BSC. The closest either side came to scoring were chances that hit the woodwork in the opening exchanges, but otherwise defences were on top in a largely tactical encounter. The Green-Whites are away again next Saturday, 7 April (kick-off 15:30 CEST) as they travel to SC Freiburg. They’ll be without the services of Josuha Guilavogui after he was red carded for a second bookable offence late on in Berlin.
Comeback for Camacho
Bruno Labbadia made two changes to his starting line-up, with Ignacio Camacho making his competitive return after five months out due to ankle surgery. The Spaniard replaced Riechedly Bazoer in midfield, while Victor Osimhen was preferred to Daniel Didavi up front.
Hertha made the better start and were unlucky not to take the lead in the 9th minute when Matthew Leckie’s header from a corner struck a post. Ten minutes later it was the Hertha goalframe shaking when centre-back Niklas Stark deflected Maximilian Arnold’s cut-back against his own upright and, having struggled to keep hold of possession during the early stages, VfL looked more settled heading in 0-0 at the break.
Wolves stand firm
While the hosts remained unchanged for the second period, Labbadia brought on top scorer Didavi in place of Osimhen. The Wolves were quickly gifted an opportunity when Hertha goalkeeper Rune Jarstein miscontrolled a back-pass from Karim Rekik, but Nany Landra Dimata couldn’t quite get there in time to capitalise. Otherwise chances were few and far between and the game was punctuated by some full-blooded but in the most part fair challenges.
VfL keeper Koen Casteels was properly called into action for the first time on the hour mark when he held on to Maximilian Mittelstädt’s shot from the edge of a crowded penalty area. The home side kept probing the VfL backline in the hope of forcing an error, but the Wolves maintained focus and even managed to create a couple of half-chances of their own. Didavi’s header from a corner in the 72nd minute was easily denied by Jarstein and a few minutes later it was again the substitute who found himself in space, only to fire his first-time effort over.
Early bath for Guilavogui
At the other end Hertha substitute Davie Selke utilised his pace to get into the box but was denied by Casteels from a tight angle. The Belgian was again on hand to collect Stark’s header in the 87th minute as Wolves withstood the Berliners’ late flurry, holding for on a deserved point despite going down to ten men when Guilavogui was sent off for a second bookable offence in added time.
Hertha BSC: Jarstein – Weiser, Stark, Rekik, Mittelstädt – Maier (Duda 70’), Lustenberger, Leckie, Darida, Kalou (Schieber 83’) – Ibisevic (Selke 62’)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Bruma, Knoche, William – Camacho – Guilavogui, Arnold – Osimhen (Didavi 46’), Brekalo (Steffen 68’) – Dimata (Origi 84’)
Yellow cards: Duda / Verhaegh
Red cards: Guilavogui (90+1’)
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Oberasbach)