On matchday 16 of the Bundesliga season, the Wolves played out a 1-1 (1-0) draw with RB Leipzig. Paul Verhaegh put the Green-Whites in front early on from the penalty-spot (15'), but in the second-half, Marcel Halstenberg put the visitors back on level terms. This coming Saturday, December 16th (kick-off 15:30 CET) the Wolves will be in action in the Bundesliga for the final time this year, when they travel to 1. FC Köln.
Verhaegh on target from the spot
VfL head-coach Martin Schmidt made just one change to the side that began in the 0-0 draw in Hamburg at the weekend, with Divock Origi reverting to the bench, to make way for Yannick Gerhardt on the right side of midfield. The first chance of the game fell to visitors: From an uncontrolled attempt to clear by Josuha Guilavogui, the ball dropped for Timo Werner, whose shot on goal was turned away by VfL keeper Koen Casteels (7'). The Wolves then made their first excursion towards the RB goal and immediately punished a lapse by Upamecano. The central-defender took down Mario Gomez in an attempt to clear and referee Guido Winkmann immediately pointed to the spot. The subsequent penalty was tucked away comfortably by Verhaegh, to make it 1-0 for the hosts. Leipzig pressed straight away in search of a quick response, but the VfL defence stood strong and the home side hung onto their narrow lead going into the half-time break.
Halstenberg levels the scores
The situation after the break was much as it had been beforehand: The visitors put the pressure on and, with VfL rarely able to clear their lines, the eventual outcome was clear. Yussuf Poulsen won possession in the Wolves box and forced a pass out to the left, where Halstenberg turned the ball just inside the far post while falling – 1-1 (52'). The equaliser appeared to shake the Green-Whites into action, as Schmidt’s men pushed forward in search of a renewed lead. Unfortunately for the hosts, efforts from John-Anthony Brooks, with a header (74'), and Daniel Didavi (76') lacked the necessary precision.
Late pressure from VfL
In the 78th minute, the Green-White fateful were off their seats and ready to celebrate, but substitute Origi somehow managed to turn the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range. In the latter stages, VfL had the bulk of the possession and the better of the play. The next shot on goal was unleashed by Didavi, but there was to be no way through on that occasion (83'). In added-time, Upamecano raised an elbow in an aerial challenge with Origi, striking the Belgian in the face, and duly received a second-booking, and thus a red card, for his troubles (92' + 2). Shortly after, there was serious confusion in the RB area, following a free-kick delivery from Arnold, leading to the Wolves having three attempts on goal. In the end though, Leipzig keeper Gulasci did well to again deny Origi (90' + 3). As a result, the game finished with the score-line poised at 1-1.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Brooks, Uduokhai, William – Guilavogui, Arnold – Gerhardt, Didavi (88' Osimhen), Malli – Gomez (66' Origi)
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann (82' Laimer), Konate, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Ilsanker, Keita – Kampl (88' Kaiser), Bruma (79' Demme) – Werner, Poulsen
Goals: 1-0 Verhaegh (15'/pen.), 1-1 Halstenberg (52')
Yellow cards: Guilavogui, Didavi / Ilsanker, Halstenberg
Red card: Upamecano (90'+2)
Referee: Guido Winkmann (Kerken)