A Saturday to forget: In their first home game in 2018, the Wolves suffered a 1-3 (0-2) defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Goals from Sebastien Haller (18') and Timothy Chandler (22') put the visitors from Hessen on track for a victory early on. Maximilian Arnold reduced the deficit with a stunningly converted direct free-kick (66') but in the end, it wasn’t enough for VfL, who were reduced to ten men when Landry Dimata saw red for a second booking (67'). Substitute Luka Jovic sealed the deal for the guests late on (84'). An additional dampener, with a view to the upcoming away clash with Hannover 96 (Sunday, January 28th, 18:00 CET), is the suspension of Josuha Guilavogui, who picked up his fifth yellow card.
Compared to the side that began in the score-less draw away to Dortmund, VfL head-coach Martin Schmidt was forced to replace the injured Daniel Didavi. The Wolves creative midfielder, who was kept out of the reckoning with a knee problem, was replaced by Nany Landry Dimata, who joined Divock Origi up front in a 4-4-2 set-up.
Haller shocks the Green-Whites
The crowd of 24,500 in the Arena had barely taken their places, as the Wolves had their first chance on goal through a free-kick from Yunus Malli. However, the curling effort from seventeen meters out by the Turkish-German failed to trouble SGE keeper Lukas Hradecky (1'). With Eintracht then twice going close through Timothy Chandler (6') and Rebic (9'), the next possibility to open the scoring fell to Malli, who was again denied by the Finn in the Eintracht goal (12'). In the 18th minute, the visitors then took the lead. Haller did well in controlling a delivery into the box from Marius Wolf. The striker then turned Marcel Tisserand and fired the ball impressively into the top right corner of the net. The hosts were clearly stunned and, just four minutes later, Eintracht made it 2-0. A loss of possession by Felix Uduokhai allowed Wolf to take possession on the wing. The delivery into the area found Chandler bounding in at the back post and the American converted what was his first goal of the season (22').
Arnold‘s hammer raises brief hope
With the introduction of Renato Steffen for Brekalo, Schmidt looked to generate a new attacking impulse, but the first attempts on goal after the re-start fell to SGE’s Kevin-Prince Boateng (50') and Wolf (52'), before the Wolves then had sight of goal again. Origi fired just wide of the right post from the edge of the box (54'). Twelve minutes later, the Wolves were back in the tie: Maximilian Arnold drove an unstoppable left-footed free-kick into the top left corner of the net – leaving Hradecky without a chance! Just a minutes later though, the Green-Whites suffered another set-back: Dimata, who had been previously yellow-carded, picked up a second booking and was duly dismissed, reducing VfL to ten men (67'). With the exception of a blocked effort from Malli (75'), the home side could create little on the attack and late on, substitute Luka Jovic slammed home a ball headed down by Haller, to seal the points for the Eagles (84').
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh, Uduokhai, Tisserand, William (76' Gerhardt) – Guilavogui (86' Osimhen), Arnold, Malli, Brekalo (46' Steffen) – Origi, Dimata
Eintracht Frankfurt: Hradecky – Salcedo, Hasebe, Falette – Wolf, Chandler (86' Willems), K.-P. Boateng Mascarell, Gacinovic (79' Fernandes) – Haller, Rebic (76' Jovic)
Goals: 0-1 Haller (18')., 0-2 Chandler (22'), 1-2 Arnold (66'), 1-3 Jovic (84')
Yellow cards: Brekalo, Guilavogui / Wolf, Falette
Yellow-red card: Dimata
Referee: Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)