Wout Weghorst cancelled out Milot Rashica’s early penalty with his 11th goal of the season, but Leonardo Bittencourt’s powerful header gave Werder a narrow lead at the break. The Wolves started the second half strongly and equalised for a second time when William drilled home from the edge of the box, only for Rashica to seal all three points for Bremen with a placed finish from Maximilian Eggestein’s pass.
Tisserand suspended, Ginczek among subs
Robin Knoche replaced the suspended Marcel Tisserand in the only change to the VfL side that beat Oleksandriya in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. Daniel Ginczek, who scored twice for the Wolves’ second string against VfL Oldenburg last weekend, was included in Oliver Glasner’s matchday squad for the first time this season after recovering from a long-standing back injury.
Wolves pay the penalty
Glasner’s charges almost made the perfect start when William’s curling cross found Joao Victor, but the forward could only power his header into the ground and onto the top of the crossbar. Bremen quickly settled into their stride, though, and were awarded a penalty when the video assistant referee ruled that Yuya Osako’s shot had struck Josuha Guilavogui’s arm. Rashica sent Koen Casteels the wrong way from the spot, drilling low into the bottom right-hand corner to give the visitors an early lead.
Victor missed another golden opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet just four minutes after Rashica’s penalty, shooting straight at Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka after connecting with Weghorst’s cut-back. The Dutchman bundled home John Anthony Brooks’ flick-on to haul the Wolves level nine minutes before half-time, but Bittencourt’s diving header restored Werder’s advantage moments later.
VfL emerged for the second half with all guns blazing and thought they had equalised when Jeffrey Bruma nodded in from close range, but VAR spotted an offside in the build-up and ruled the goal out. William spurned another glorious opportunity when he fired straight at Pavlenka at the far post, but the full-back made amends three minutes later with a superb strike into the corner from the edge of the area.
Both teams continued to push forward in search of a late winner, with Eggestein going close to a third for Bremen when he fired Osako’s lay-off over the bar from a good position. Just as the game appeared to be heading for a draw, Rashica beat Casteels with a neat finish to hand Werder all three points and condemn VfL to a second straight home defeat in the league.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Brooks, Bruma, Knoche (Ginczek 72’) - William, Guilavogui, Arnold, Roussillon - Joao Victor (Steffen 84’), Weghorst, Mehmedi (Brekalo 60’)
Werder Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Groß, Augustinsson - M. Eggestein, Bargfrede (Sargent 76’), Klaassen - Bittencourt (Lang 86’), Osako (Pizarro 78’), Rashica
Goals: 0-1 Rashica (pen. 13’), 1-1 Weghorst (36’), 1-2 Bittencourt (39’), 2-2 William (73’), 2-3 Rashica (83’)
Yellow cards: Arnold / Groß, Osako, Rashica, Veljkovic
Referee: Dr. Robert Kampka (Mainz)
Attendance: 26,012 at the Volkswagen Arena