VfL Wolfsburg picked up another important win in the battle for the Champions League places, beating Werder Bremen 2-1 away from home on Saturday afternoon. A Josh Sargent own goal (8’) and Wout Weghorst’s 50th Bundesliga goal (42’) did the damage for Oliver Glasner’s side, with Kevin Möhwald (45’) replying for Bremen. The Wolves’ sixth away win of the campaign consolidates their position in third.
Xaver Schlager and Maxence Lacroix were recalled to the starting XI after their suspensions, replacing Josuha Guilavogui and Marin Pongracic, who missed out along with Renato Steffen and Paulo Otavio.
Deserved lead at the break
Wolves got off to a perfect start when Maximilian Arnold’s free-kick found Lacroix, whose header bounced off Sargent and over goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka. VfL were the better side after that and doubled their advantage shortly before half-time. Schlager won the ball and played in Weghorst, who did not pass up on the chance to bring up his half-century in the Bundesliga.
It would have been a perfect first half for VfL, had Möhwald not reduced the deficit in the 45th minute after turmoil in the Wolfsburg penalty area presented him with the ball at his feet.
Lead safely preserved
The Wolves immediately set about restoring their two-goal advantage early on in the second half, forcing corner after corner and pinning Werder back. Weghorst almost forced another own goal – out of Milos Veljkovic this time – from a tight angle after some fine control (53’). The next action of the game saw Pavlenka make a double save, first from Weghorst and then from Kevin Mbabu.
Just like in the first half, the contest then went a bit flat. While the Wolves were no longer looking for opportunities as purposefully, the clock gradually ran down. Only substitutes Niklas Füllkrug (77’) and Davie Selke (90’+4) called Koen Casteels into action with rather harmless efforts, but the well-deserved and valuable three points belonged to VfL.
Werder Bremen: Pavlenka – Veljkovic (88‘ Agu), Toprak, Friedl – Gebre Selassie, Möhwald (82‘ Osako), Eggestein, Augustinsson – Schmid (58‘ Bittencourt), Rashica (82‘ Selke), Sargent (58‘ Füllkrug)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Brooks, Lacroix, Baku – Schlager (90’+5 Phillipp), Arnold – Mehmedi (86’ Guilavogui), Gerhardt, Brekalo (74‘ Victor) – Weghorst
Goals: 0-1 Sargent (8‘, own goal), 0-2 Weghorst (42’), 1-2 Möhwald (45’)
Yellow cards: Sargent, Füllkrug, Bittencourt / Schlager
Referee: Robert Schröder (Hannover)