VfL Wolfsburg secured three vital points in their battle to avoid relegation with a 2-0 win away to SC Freiburg on Saturday afternoon. The match-winner on the day was Daniel Didavi, who opened the scoring after just two minutes before netting his second of the game in the 83rd minute. The victory was the Green-Whites’ first under head coach Bruno Labbadia, as well as their fifth consecutive away win in Freiburg, and sees them move to within just one point of the Black Forest club in the table.
Bundesliga debut for Jaeckel
VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia made several changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Hertha Berlin last time out. Aside from the suspended Josuha Guilavogui, Jeffrey Bruma was also unavailable through illness. The Dutchman was replaced by 19-year-old top-flight debutant Paul Jaeckel, while Maximilian Arnold - making his 150th Bundesliga appearance - filled the void left by Guilavogui in defensive midfield. Attack-minded duo Daniel Didavi and Yunus Malli, the latter of whom netted a brace in the teams’ last meeting, returned to the starting eleven, with Victor Osimhen forced to settle for a place on the bench.
Didavi gives hosts dream start
The Wolves made the perfect start at a sun-drenched Schwarzwald-Stadion, opening the scoring with less than 120 seconds on the clock. Didavi pounced on a wayward pass from Freiburg’s Manuel Gulde before firing a brilliant shot past goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow and into the bottom left corner from 18 metres out. It was Didavi’s seventh goal of the season and ended VfL’s run of three league games without a goal. Stunned by the early setback, Freiburg eventually began to create chances of their own, with Gulde twice going close to an equaliser. Clear-cut opportunities remained few and far between before half-time, however, giving the visitors a narrow lead at the break.
Dida strikes again; Petersen thwarted from the spot
Goalmouth action was at a premium early in the second period too, with the first real opportunity of the half coming from a set-piece. A teasing ball into the VfL box caused confusion in the Green-Whites defence, but the visitors eventually managed to clear their lines. With time ticking down, substitute Divock Origi produced a sublime piece of skill to set up the Wolves’ second, outfoxing Caglar Söyüncü on the right and cutting the ball back for the onrushing Didavi, whose left-footed drive left Schwolow with no chance (83’). Freiburg were handed a lifeline when Robin Knoche was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box, but Nils Petersen was denied by a superb stop by Koen Casteels.
SC Freiburg: Schwolow – Koch, Gulde, Söyüncü (85' Schuster) – Stenzel, Günter – Sierro (81' Kapustka), Höfler - Haberer, Kath (74. Kleindienst) – Petersen
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Jaeckel, Knoche, William – Camacho – Didavi, Arnold – Brekalo (90'+4 Bazoer), Malli (90'+6 Steffen) – Dimata (74' Origi)
Goals: 0-1 Didavi (2'), 0-2 Didavi (83')
Referee: - / William
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)