First Team

Weghorst treble gives Wolves victory

VfL Wolfsburg triumphed away from home in impressive fashion on Matchday 22, defeating TSG Hoffenheim 3-2 courtesy of a Wout Weghorst hat-trick.

VfL Wolfsburg triumphed away from home in impressive fashion on Matchday 22, defeating TSG Hoffenheim 3-2 courtesy of a Wout Weghorst hat-trick.
A formidable performance from the Wolves in Sinsheim saw them take the lead three times in an entertaining encounter, and eventually claim a merited victory.

Triple switch

Head coach Oliver Glasner made three changes to the team that drew 1-1 at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf last weekend, two of which came at the back: John Brooks took over for the suspended Marin Pongracic – the American’s first start alongside Robin Knoche for the first time since Matchday 15 – and Kevin Mbabu slotted in for the injured William. Up front, Weghorst was brought in for Daniel Ginczek, whom he had replaced at half-time the previous week. On the substitutes’ bench, meanwhile, 21-year-old Iba May was included in a VfL Bundesliga matchday squad for the very first time.

Weghorst spot-on

The Wolves looked lively early on, making incursions into the Hoffenheim area, and that pressure told in the 18th minute, when referee Sören Storks awarded a penalty kick to the visitors after Sebastian Rudy had handled in the box. Weghorst stepped up and coolly sent Oliver Baumann the wrong way to maintain his 100 per cent record from the spot in the Bundesliga (six from six).

Subsequently, Hoffenheim briefly rallied, but it was Wolfsburg who looked the more incisive and dangerous team for the remainder of the half, and they could have doubled their advantage through Weghorst, who curled an effort over the bar, or through Mehmedi, who appeared to have scored his team’s second goal only to see it ruled out for offside.

Then, against the run of play, Hoffenheim equalised practically on the stroke of half-time: Kramaric hit the byline and sent in an accurate cross for Christoph Baumgartner, who headed firmly past Casteels.

Eine tolle Szene vom Wout Weghorst, der einen Elfmeterschuss aufs Tor haut.

Plethora of penalties    

The Green-and-Whites continued to pass with purpose in the second period, and they regained the lead in the 52nd minute, again via a Weghorst penalty, following a foul by Benjamin Hübner on Mbabu. Eight minutes later, the robust Dutchman was involved once more, but at the other end this time, where he was adjudged to have blocked a free-kick with his arm. The man in the middle accorded the third spot kick of the match, which Kramaric duly placed in the left corner.
The game proceeded to open up after that – Baumgartner hit the base of the post, before VfL went ahead for a third time, Weghorst latching onto Maximilian Arnold’s pass and lifting the ball adeptly over Baumann for the third Bundesliga hat-trick of his career, and his first away from home. TSG pushed for a leveller, but the Wolfsburg defence held firm. As the game drew to a close, it was the visitors who could have added to their lead, substitute Josip Brekalo and Weghorst both firing shots on goal that were well saved by the outstretched legs of Baumann. 

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Guilavogui (c), Schlager, Arnold, Mehmedi (Klaus 86’) – Weghorst (Ginczek 90’), Steffen (Brekalo 69’)

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Baumann – Posch, Hübner (c), Bicakcic (Zuber 46’) – Kaderabek, Samassekou, Grillitsch (Dabbur 74’), Skov, Rudy (Larsen 46’) – Baumgartner, Kramaric

Goals: Weghorst (18’), Baumgartner (45’), Weghorst (52’), Kramaric (60’), Weghorst (71’)

Yellow cards: Arnold, Weghorst / Rudy, Hübner

Attendance: 22,506

Referee: Sören Storks (Velen)



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