An entire year cannot be reduced down to a single day. Not even 2020, which brought ups and downs for VfL Wolfsburg. Much of the year was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. Impressive performances in the UEFA Europa League led to positive headlines, while seventh place at the end of the 2019/20 season meant Europa League qualifying for VfL, who ended the year in fourth place.
The schedule for the new season was rejigged because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign was scheduled start on 18 September, while a significantly shorter winter break was planned.
August: Knocked out in second leg
Last-16 exit: A 3-0 defeat in the rearranged Europa League round of 16 second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk saw the Wolves exit the competition, after they had lost 2-1 in the first leg.
Home to Leverkusen in opener: VfL began the new Bundesliga season at home to Bayer Leverkusen on 20 September. Glasner’s side then travelled to Freiburg on Matchday 2, before a home match against Augsburg.
September: 500 spectators for league opener
Camacho hangs up his boots: VfL midfielder Ignacio Camacho was forced to end his career early due to injury. The 30-year-old’s contract was terminated, but at the same time an agreement was made for him to complete a two-year trainee programme at VfL, meaning the Spaniard stayed at the club.
500 fans for Bundesliga opener: Wolfsburg’s first Bundesliga match of the 2020/21 season against Bayer Leverkusen on 20 September took place in front of 500 spectators. It ended in a goalless draw.
October: No Europe for Wolves
Mission to Europe fails: In a one-legged play-off to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League, VfL suffered a last-gasp 2-1 loss away to AEK. Substitute Karim Ansarifard delivered the knockout blow in the fourth minute of added time to send the Greek club through.
New recruit in attack: Maximilian Philipp joined the Wolves from Dynamo Moscow. The 26-year-old, who can play in multiple positions across the frontline, arrived on a season-long loan deal from the Russian Premier League club and was handed the number 17 shirt.
November: Friday night frenzy
Training session behind closed doors: Due to the increasing COVID-19 infection rates in the Wolfsburg region and in the whole of Germany, no fans were allowed at training sessions.
Winners against Bremen: VfL defeated Werder Bremen 5-3 in a thrilling game under the floodlights. It was the Green-and-Whites’ 300th win in the German top flight.
December: Fourth at Christmas
First defeat: The Wolves suffered their first defeat of the 2020/21 season in their 12th Bundesliga match, going down 2-1 away to record champions Bayern despite taking the lead through Philipp.
Victory to round off the year: The Green-and-Whites beat Stuttgart 2-1 at home in the final Bundesliga fixture of 2020 and went into the brief winter break in an impressive fourth place.