VfL Wolfsburg suffered defeat on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League, losing 3-1 at Austrian champions FC Salzburg in Group G. In the early stages of the game, the hosts caught out the Green-and-Whites with their extremely high pressing, determined running and fast counter-attacking, leading to rising star Karim Adeyemi capitalising on some carelessness in the Wolfsburg defence to open the scoring in only the third minute.
The Wolves pulled level from a set-piece, Lukas Nmecha heading in a somewhat surprising equaliser from Maximilian Arnold’s corner (15’). That goal settled VfL down, but after around an hour they had their hands full in defence again – having not yet registered a shot on target in the second half. A quick-fire brace from Noah Okafor (65’, 77’) sealed a 3-1 victory for Salzburg.
Mark van Bommel: “We weren’t awake in the first three minutes and fell behind immediately. After that we did what we’d spoken about. Our build-up was good, we switched play and consequently equalised. In the second half, we stopped doing what we’d been doing in the first. We went long more often, didn’t create chances and then conceded two goals from set pieces, which you can’t defend the way we did. That’s why we lost 3-1.”
1-0 (3rd minute): Nicolas Seiwald drives forward at pace and the midfielder picks out the run of Adeyemi. The Germany U21 international is more alert than Kevin Mbabu and pinches the ball off him, before slotting past Koen Casteels to make it 1-0.
1-1 (15th minute): An important goal for the Wolves. From an Arnold corner, Salzburg’s marking is not the best and Nmecha takes full advantage. The summer signing makes a good run, rises highest and flicks the ball into the far corner.
2-1 (65th minute): The home side regain the lead. Following a corner, Rasmus Kristensen pokes the ball through two Wolfsburg players to Okafor. The striker is quickest to it in the six-yard box and beats Casteels from close range.
3-1 (77th minute): Game over. Once again, Okafor is able to escape the attentions of the VfL defence and bundle the ball in with his right foot.
Line-ups and stats
FC Salzburg: Köhn – Kristensen, Onguene, Wöber (72‘ Bernardo), Ulmer (86’ Guindo) – Sucic, Aaronson, Camara (66‘ Capaldo), Seiwald – Okafor (86’ Simic), Adeyemi (86’ Adamu)
Subs: Mantl (GK), Walke (GK), Ludewig, Okoh, Bernede, Diambou, Kjaergaard
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (70’ Otavio) – Vranckx, Arnold, Baku (70’ F. Nmecha), Lukebakio, Steffen – L. Nmecha
Subs: Klinger (GK), Pervan (GK), Bornauw, van de Ven, Philipp, Ginczek
Goals: 1-0 Adeyemi (3’), 1-1 Nmecha (15’), 2-1 Okafor (65’), 3-1 Okafor (77’)
Yellow cards: Camara, Capaldo /Mbabu, Arnold
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Attendance: 29,520 (sold out) at Red Bull Arena