Putting in a solid performance, VfL Wolfsburg won 2-0 at Greuther Fürth on Saturday afternoon. Lukas Nmecha took advantage of the first chance of the game and scored in the tenth minute to give the Wolves an early lead. The away side had the match under control for practically the entire 90 minutes, keeping the ball well and demonstrating stability at the back, which helped Koen Casteels to keep a clean sheet in his 200th Bundesliga match for VfL. It was not until the final phase of the match that the newly promoted side saw the chance for an equaliser go a-begging: Dickson Abiama took aim with a side-footed shot, but Casteels made a brilliant save (87'). Goal machine Wout Weghorst wrapped up the win soon after from the penalty spot (90').
Courtesy of this positive result, the Wolves celebrated their fourth victory in a row and remain top of the Bundesliga. On Tuesday 14 September, the Green-and-Whites will begin this season's Champions League campaign with a clash at French champions OSC Lille (21:00 CEST). On Sunday evening (19 September), there will be a reunion with former coach Oliver Glasner in the encounter with Eintracht Frankfurt (19:30 CEST).
Compared to the last Bundesliga appearance a fortnight ago, VfL head coach Mark van Bommel made five changes. Sebastiaan Bornauw, Josuha Guilavogui, Yannick Gerhardt, Luca Waldschmidt and Nmecha came into the starting XI in place of Kevin Mbabu, John Brooks, Jerome Roussillon, Xaver Schlager and Renato Steffen.
1-0 Nmecha (10’): First chance taken: The league leaders come out of the blocks fast and show their class. After a dynamic attack, the promoted team can't get the ball out of their defence and the ball ends up with Nmecha via Weghorst. The U21 European Champion is free and buries it past Fürth's keeper Sascha Burchert.
2-0 Weghorst (90’): Win sealed from the spot: After a foul by Griesbeck, Waldschmidt goes down. Referee Hartmann immediately points to the spot. Penalty for the Wolves! Weghorst hammers the ball into the left corner, sending Burchert the wrong way.
Mark van Bommel: I'm very happy because we've picked up twelve points in four games. Today we played a good game in which we had a lot of possession. However, we didn't create many chances. The final ball wasn’t that great. But I really liked the attacks leading up to the first goal and the penalty. We played with patience, which means making the right decision at the right moment. We did that through defending in a focused way and not panicking. Greuther Fürth had physically strong players who played a lot of long balls. I don't think many teams will win here. Fürth are hard to beat. That's why I'm doubly happy that we got the three points.
Stefan Leitl: I'm also satisfied – not with the result, but with the way we conducted ourselves today. In certain phases we needed a bit of luck, like just before the end, where we could have made it 1-1. The equaliser would not have been undeserved. On the other hand, we need to concentrate more during set pieces, so that our balls are more accurate and that we make more of them. In short: Our performance was good, but the result was unfortunately not so good.
Line-ups and stats
Greuther Fürth: Burchert – Meyerhöfer, Bauer, Viergever, Willems (67‘ Barry) – Griesbeck, Seguin, Green (60‘ Christiansen), Nielsen (79‘ Leweling) – Hrgota (68‘ Abiama), Itten
Subs: Funk, Dudziak, Fein, Sarpei, Tillman
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku (67’ Mbabu), Lacroix (74’ Brooks), Bornauw, Gerhardt – Guilavogui, Arnold, Waldschmidt, Philipp (67’ Lukebakio), Nmecha (81‘ Steffen) – Weghorst
Subs: Pervan, Roussillon, Mehmedi, Vranckx, Ginczek
Goals: 0-1 Nmecha (10‘), 0-2 Weghorst (90‘)
Yellow card: Seguin / Weghorst, Baku, Lukebakio
Referee: Robert Hartmann (Wangen)
Attendance: 8,740 at Sportpark Ronhof