VfL Wolfsburg made the best possible start to their league season at home to newly-promoted VfL Bochum. Head coach Mark van Bommel’s men recorded a 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon, with Wout Weghorst – who missed a penalty as early as the fifth minute – scoring the only goal of the game (22’) in front of 8,536 fans at the Volkswagen Arena.
Next Saturday (21 August), the Wolves will play their first away game of the 2021/22 season at Hertha BSC (kick-off: 15.30 CEST).
Van Bommel made two changes to the team that got the season under way in Münster last weekend, with Kevin Mbabu and Maximilian Arnold coming in for Josuha Guilavogui and Lukas Nmecha. Former Wolf Thomas Reis also made a couple of changes to the Bochum starting XI with Vassilis Lampropoulos and Christopher Antwi-Adjej brought in.
1-0 Weghorst (22nd minute): The first VfL goal of the season and who better to score it than Weghorst? A throw-in from Mbabu saw John Brooks feed the Dutchman on the edge of the box with his back to goal. He somehow got the better of three Bochum defenders and slotted home a cool finish.
Line-ups and match statistics
Mark van Bommel: “We got off to a very good start and then had the advantage of the penalty and the red card, which was really tough for Bochum. We played some excellent football for an hour and it was an absolute joy to watch. If we’d managed to make it 2-0 or 3-0, it would have been all over. But every team gets a chance at some point and in the last half an hour, Bochum played very well and were waiting for my team to lose their confidence.”
Thomas Reis: “Wolfsburg deserved their win. We came into the match with high expectations but we’re weren’t 100 per cent on our game to begin with and they had plenty of chances. Then there was that strange red card which was obviously really tough for us. We knew that Wolfsburg would try to put the match out of reach early in the second half and we managed to see off this tough period and created one or two chances of our own.”
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (87’ Mehmedi) – Schlager (81’ Guilavogui), Arnold – Baku, Philipp (81’ Gerhardt), Steffen (70’ Marmoush) – Weghorst
Subs: Pervan (GK), Bornauw, Pongracic, Walther
VfL Bochum: Riemann – Gamboa (78’ Bockhorn), Lampropoulos (89’ Ganvoula), Leitsch, Danilo Soares – Tesche, Losilla, Rexhbecaj, Asano (46’ Pantovic), Antwi-Adjei – Zoller
Subs: Esser (GK), Bella Kotchap, Masovic, Chibsah, Osterhage
Goal: 1:0 Weghorst (22‘)
Yellow cards: – / Leitsch, Rexhbecaj
Red card: Tesche (4’, deliberate handball)
Other: Riemann saves penalty from Weghorst (5’)
Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)