The goals came within two minutes of each other in the first half as Timothée Kolodziejczak’s opener was almost immediately cancelled out by William. The result maintains VfL’s unbeaten record in all competitions this season and also keeps them top of Group I on goal difference. They return to Bundesliga business on Sunday 6 October with a home match against 1. FC Union Berlin (kick-off 15:30 CEST).
One enforced change
Head coach Oliver Glasner made just one change to his side following Saturday’s 1-0 win at 1. FSV Mainz 05. Admir Mehmedi was unavailable due to an adductor issue, so Felix Klaus played on the right of the front three. Captain Josuha Guilavogui again started in midfield on his return to his former club.
The Wolves made a decent start to the match and forced a couple of corners early on, but they found themselves behind in the 13th minute. Pavao Pervan came out to punch a cross but it only landed at the feet of Kolodziejczak, whose first-time shot squirmed through the sky blue shirts in the box and into the gaping net.
However, VfL responded in the perfect fashion. Just two minutes later, Maximilian Arnold’s superb cross picked out William, who got in between two defenders and headed past goalkeeper Jessy Moulin to draw the visitors level. After those two quick-fire goals, the contest became rather scrappy with neither side managing to fashion any real chances, and so the first half ended with the score at 1-1.
Points rightly shared
The game continued in a similar vein after the break, although the Wolves did have a good early chance when Wout Weghorst laid the ball off for Klaus in the penalty area, but he failed to connect properly with his shot and fired wide. Glasner’s men continued to edge their opponents in the possession stakes but struggled to create opportunities, although they were rarely troubled themselves at the other end of the pitch.
The game did liven up towards the end and Saint-Étienne almost snatched victory in added time, but Pervan was equal to Arnaud Nordin’s fierce shot before substitute Charles Abi headed over from the subsequent corner in what was the last action of the match.
AS Saint-Étienne: Moulin – Debuchy (Moukoudi 60’), Saliba, Perrin, Kolodziejczak – Youssouf, M’Vila – Hamouma, Khazri (Abi 86’), Nordin – Berič (Bouanga 66’)
VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Knoche, Bruma, Tisserand – William, Arnold, Guilavogui, Roussillon (Steffen 83’) – Klaus, Weghorst (Nmecha 60’), Brekalo (Joao Victor 72’)
Goals: Kolodziejczak (13’), William (15’)
Yellow cards: Berič / Arnold, Bruma
Referee: Craig Pawson (England)