VfL dominated proceedings against Eintracht at the Volkswagen Arena, and deservedly claimed all three points via a second-half Wout Weghorst brace.
Oliver Glasner made just one change to the team that drew 2-2 at 1. FC Köln last weekend, bringing in the previously sidelined Kevin Mbabu for the injured Renato Steffen, in what was the robust right-back’s first Bundesliga appearance of the season. William, who has now recovered from his cruciate ligament injury, earned a spot on the bench – his first inclusion in a league squad this campaign.
Off the line
The Wolves had the better of the early exchanges, forcing several corners and hitting the post through Xaver Schlager’s deflected effort. The majority of VfL’s attacks were emanating from the right flank, where Mbabu and Ridle Baku were combining constructively, and it was from that side that they created a viable chance for Maximilian Philipp, but the October signing mistimed his run and the danger passed.
Further chances followed for Mbabu and Weghorst, but Kevin Trapp was well positioned to make the save on both occasions. In the 38th minute, the home team generated their best opportunity of the half when Philipp, played through on goal brilliantly by Baku, lifted the ball delicately over Trapp, but was denied by Evan Ndicka’s last-gasp header on the line.
Weghorst makes the difference
Eintracht, who had barely troubled the home rearguard in the first period, began the second half more effectively, and should really have taken the lead through Filip Kostic, but the Serbian, one-on-one with Koen Casteels, smashed his shot over the bar. Almost immediately, the Wolves responded through Philipp and Weghorst, who forced Trapp into a fine double save.
Frankfurt made the breakthrough in the 63rd minute: John Brooks was adjudged by the referee to have fouled Martin Hinteregger in the box, and former Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost duly converted the spot kick. The Green-and-Whites responded strongly, and they levelled affairs in the 76th minute, Weghorst scoring from the spot after Markus Schmidt had awarded another penalty, this time for a Stefan Ilsanker handball. It was the Dutchman’s fifth goal in as many Bundesliga games – a feat not achieved since Edin Dzeko in May 2009.
Just when it seemed as if VfL would have to settle for a draw, the impressive Weghorst struck the winner, taking Schlager’s marvellous pass in his stride and firing the ball home expertly from an acute angle to score his ninth goal in eight matches and propel his team up to joint third in the Bundesliga standings.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon – Arnold, Schlager, Baku (William 90+4’), Philipp (Klaus 90+2’), Brekalo (Bialek 70’) – Weghorst
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp – Abraham, Hinteregger, Ndicka – Durm (Da Costa 85’), Ilsanker (Younes 90’), Rode (Barkok 85’), Kostic – Sow, Kamada – Dost
Goals: Dost (63' pen), Weghorst (76' pen, 88’)
Yellow cards: Lacroix, Brekalo, Brooks, Schlager, Weghorst / Ndicka, Dost
Referee: Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)