In a game bereft of incidents or chances on goal, the clash between VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV in Germany’s far north, ended in a score-less draw. In difficult weather conditions, neither side managed to make the ultimate breakthrough on the night. This coming Tuesday, the Green-Whites will be in action again, when they play host to RB Leipzig at home in the Volkswagen Arena (kick-off 18:30 CET).
VfL head-coach Martin Schmidt opted to make two changes to the side that began in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Gladbach, with William replacing the ill Gian-Luca Itter and Maximilian Arnold returning from suspension and forcing Yannick Gerhardt back to the bench.
Arp and Jung go close
HSV made the decisively brighter start and within the first six minutes, the hosts had made three dangerous excursions into the VfL penalty-area. Only the intervention of goalkeeper Koen Casteels prevented a header from Kyriakos Papadopoulos (2') and shots from Wallace (5') and Dennis Diekmeier (6) from giving HSV an early lead. Having overcome the first period of pressure from Hamburg, the Wolves began to get more of a grip on proceedings, but were unable to create anything of real danger on the offensive. In the 31st minute, the Green-Whites then had some fortune on their side: Jann-Fiete Arp curved around Felix Ohis Uduokhai in the box and got a shot away from twelve meters out, but slotted his effort wide of the post. The sides duly went in at the half-time break locked in stalemate.
No flow and unnecessary problems in possession
The conditions remained the same, as did the team formations, as the second period got underway, with sleet whipping around the Volksparkstadion. It took until the 69th minute before the next chance on goal materialised, but again Casteels was on hand to deny Diekmeier’s strike from the edge of the box. The attempt could well have been the right full-backs first ever goal in the Bundesliga. Just four minutes later, Casteels had to be alert again, racing off his line to pluck a cross from Arp off the head of Aaron Hunt (73'). With the game moving into its closing phase, the rain eased off as the hosts raised the tempo again in search of a way through. The next sight of goal for the hosts came from a Hunt free-kick, which cleared the crossbar (78'). At the other end, Gomez was narrowly unable to get on the end of a fine delivery from substitute Paul-Georges Ntep at the far post (85'). In the end, neither of the two north German sides could find the key and land a decisive lucky-punch.
Hamburger SV: Mathenia – Diekmeier, Papadopoulos, Mavraj, Douglas Santos – Jung, Wallace (78' Ekdal), Ito (60' Waldschmidt), Hunt, Kostic – Arp (83' Hahn)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Uduokhai, Brooks, Wiilliam – Guilavogui, Arnold, Origi (56' Ntep), Didavi (90'+1 Osimhen), Malli (78' Gerhardt) – Gomez
Yellow cards: Dieckmeier, Kostic / Ntep, William
Referee: Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle)