VfL fought back twice after going behind with goals from Maximilian Arnold (29’) and Wout Weghorst (47’), but they will feel they could have got more out of the game having had over 60 per cent possession as well as eight corners. Nevertheless, the result maintains their unbeaten status in the league this season as the Wolves set a new club record of avoiding defeat in the first 10 matchdays of a Bundesliga campaign. Next up is a home match against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday 11 December (kick-off 20:30 CET).
One enforced change
Head coach Oliver Glasner was forced into one change from last Friday’s 5-3 win over SV Werder Bremen. Admir Mehmedi was ruled out with an Achilles problem, so summer signing Maximilian Philipp came in for his fourth start in a VfL shirt.
To and fro
The two sides exchanged long-range efforts early on, with Josip Brekalo’s drive being punched away by Timo Horn and ex-Wolf Elvis Rexhbecaj warming the gloves of Koen Casteels. The first real opportunity didn’t arrive until the 11th minute, when Brekalo played in Weghorst but Horn came out to smother.
Having threatened little, Köln took the lead in the 18th minute, when Salih Özcan laid on the ball for Jan Thielmann, who had space to turn in the box and squeeze it into the far corner. The Wolves almost responded in spectacular fashion four minutes later, but Philipp’s overhead kick was saved by Horn.
VfL continued to have more of the play and deservedly drew level in the 29th minute courtesy of a sublime free-kick from Arnold, who managed to lift the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner. It looked like staying at 1-1 until half-time, but again the hosts took their chance when it came and regained the lead shortly before the break. A long ball found Rexhbecaj on the right-hand side, and he cut it back for Duda to rifle home from close range.
Weghorst continues hot streak
That scoreline was a little harsh on the Green-and-Whites, but they soon put it right at the start of the second half. Renato Steffen’s right-wing cross picked out Weghorst, who headed in his fifth goal in four games and his seventh overall in the Bundesliga this season.
The Wolves weren’t settling for a point and pushed on in search of the next goal. Steffen had a good opportunity to score himself in the 53rd minute but missed the target from Brekalo’s cut-back. The chances dried up after that, with Köln dropping back and allowing the visitors to play in front of them. Maxence Lacroix and Xaver Schlager had half-chances late on, but the Wolves couldn’t find a winner.
1. FC Köln: T. Horn - Cestic, Bornauw, J. Horn - Wolf (Schmitz 88’), Özcan (Drexler 39’), Skhiri, Jakobs - Duda, Rexhbecaj (Andersson 88’) - Thielmann
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Otavio 76’) - Schlager, Arnold - Steffen (Marmoush 90’), Philipp (Ginczek 68’), Brekalo - Weghorst
Goals: Thielmann (18’), Arnold (29’), Duda (43’), Weghorst (47’)
Yellow cards: - / Otavio
Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)