The first half was a hard-fought affair and the Wolves held their own initially, before falling behind to a Robert Lewandowski strike. The Bayern forward added another goal early in the second half of what became an increasingly open encounter – especially after Arjen Robben was sent off for the visitors. Wout Weghorst reduced the deficit to spark hopes of a VfL comeback, but James Rodriguez sealed the win for Bayern in the closing stages.
Milestone for Gerhardt
VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia made two changes from the side that faced Werder Bremen on Matchday 7, with Elvis Rexhbecaj and Yannick Gerhardt coming into the team in place of Yunus Malli and Marcel Tisserand. It was just a third Bundesliga start for youngster Rexhbecaj, while Gerhardt made his 50th top-flight outing for the Green-Whites.
Bayern take the lead
The Wolves were forced to weather an early storm as the visitors pressed high in search of an opener, but the well-drilled home defence kept them away from Koen Casteels' goal initially. The VfL custodian was called into a action a couple of times as the match wore on, making fine saves first from a James free-kick and then from Joshua Kimmich's shot from just inside the box. Casteels was powerless to stop Bayern breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark though, as Lewandowski collected Mats Hummels' pass before slotting a low shot into the net. At the other end of the pitch, Robin Knoche had the Wolves' clearest sight of goal, but he could not direct his header on target from Maxi Arnold's free-kick.
VfL's hopes of staging a comeback were dealt a heavy blow early in the second period when William's attempted header back to Casteels was intercepted by Lewandowski, who rounded the goalkeeper and was left with a simple tap-in. However, momentum swung in Wolfsburg's favour when Arjen Robben was sent off for a second bookable offence. The Wolves made their numerical advantage count almost instantly when substitute Admir Mehmedi found space down the right and crossed for Weghorst to tap in at the back post. Labbadia's charges were in the ascendancy but Bayern hit on the counter, with James finishing at the near post to compound a frustrating afternoon for VfL.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Rexhbecaj (Malli 71'), Arnold, Gerhardt – Steffen (Mehmedi 60'), Weghorst, Brekalo (Ginczek 60')
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba (Rafinha 46') – Martinez, Thiago – Robben, James (Sanches 84'), Gnabry (Goretzka 66') - Lewandowski
Goals: Lewandowski (30', 48'), Weghorst (63'), James (72')
Yellow cards: Arnold, Weghorst / Thiago, Robben, Neuer
Sent off: Robben (57')
Referee: Guido Winkmann (Kerken)