In what was a hard-fought contest throughout, the Wolves’ superior quality ultimately proved decisive, with Daniel Ginczek’s 58th-minute strike the key moment before Josip Brekalo sealed the win in injury time. The result means Bruno Labbadia’s men have taken ten points from their last four games, and they’ll be looking to maintain that momentum when they host VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday (kick-off 19:30 CET).
Two back, two out
Labbadia made three changes to the side that started against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last Saturday. William and John Anthony Brooks returned in defence following suspension, with Felix Uduokhai moving to left-back in place of the injured Jérôme Roussillon. Meanwhile, Yunus Malli replaced Admir Mehmedi, who was only fit enough for the bench.
Goalless first half
On a chilly night in Bavaria, the Wolves looked the more likely to make something happen in the early stages. Ginczek twice tested Nürnberg goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow from tight angles inside the penalty area, but there was subsequently little in terms of goalmouth action before the break. The Green-Whites dominated possession and while they found no way through a stubborn home defence, Koen Casteels was never seriously troubled at the other end.
Wolves step up
The game continued in a similar vein after the interval. The first chance of the second half came in the 57th minute, when Yannick Gerhardt got down and cut the ball back for Wout Weghorst, whose shot struck the near post. However, just a minute later the Wolves finally made the breakthrough as Ginczek shook off two defenders inside the box before composing himself and drilling a low shot into the bottom corner for his third goal in as many games.
That served to settle the Green-Whites, and they became more confident in their passing, holding on to their lead comfortably. Nürnberg huffed and puffed in attack but lacked ideas, with Adam Zrelak’s correctly disallowed goal the closest they came to scoring. VfL then put the icing on the cake in the final minute of stoppage time, as substitute Brekalo clinically finished off a counter-attack.
1. FC Nürnberg: Bredlow – Bauer, Margreitter, Mühl, Leibold – Rhein (Kerk 83’), Petrak – Misidjan, Pereira (Ishak 71’), Palacios (Erras 88’) – Zrelak
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - William, Knoche, Brooks, Uduokhai – Guilavogui, Arnold, Gerhardt – Malli (Brekalo 79’) – Ginczek, Weghorst (Steffen 87’)
Goals: Ginczek (58’), Brekalo (90+3’)
Yellow cards: Zrelak, Petrak / Uduokhai
Referee: Sven Jablonski (Bremen)