In a hard-fought contest of few clear-cut opportunities, Weghorst’s 82nd-minute header was enough to settle it for the Wolves, who recorded their third consecutive away win and their first clean sheet since the restart thanks to a resolute defensive performance. The result moves VfL back up to sixth place in the table going into next Saturday’s match at home to SC Freiburg (kick-off 15:30 CEST).
Mehmedi starts, Guilavogui back in squad
Head coach Oliver Glasner made one enforced change to his line-up following last Saturday’s meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt, with Admir Mehmedi replacing the suspended Renato Steffen in attack. There was also a welcome return to the squad for captain Josuha Guilavogui, who was included among the substitutes after almost four months out with a knee injury.
Tentative first half
As expected, the relegation-threatened hosts came out of the blocks quickly and forced a couple of corners early on, but it was the Wolves who had the first real sight of goal in the 13th minute, when Weghorst beat his marker but couldn’t beat Jiri Pavlenka in the Bremen goal.
It remained an even contest throughout the first half. Both sides saw attempts blocked but Koen Casteels was not called into action until the 31st minute, pushing away Yuya Osako’s shot from the edge of the area with what was the last notable incident before the half-time whistle.
Wout wins it in the rain
It was a similar story after the interval, with the Wolves keeping the Bremen attack quiet and looking to fashion their own chances on the break. The weather conditions didn’t help matters and the rain got progressively heavier as the half wore on.
Glasner’s men looked the more threatening going forward and Xaver Schlager rattled the crossbar in the 81st minute after some pinball in the penalty area, but the breakthrough came just a minute later. It all started with Kevin Mbabu winning possession on the edge of his own box before charging forward and feeding substitute Felix Klaus, whose cross was headed in by Weghorst at the near post for his first goal since Matchday 24. The home side threw everything forward in the closing stages but the Wolves held on for a crucial three points.
SV Werder Bremen: Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Moisander, Veljkovic, Augustinsson - Vogt – Bargfrede (Bartels 61’), Klaassen (Woltemade 85’) - M. Eggestein - Sargent (Bittencourt 75’), Osako (Selke 85’)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon (Tisserand 88’) – Arnold (Guilavogui 88’), Schlager (Gerhardt 84’) - Brekalo, Mehmedi (Ginczek 64’), Victor (Klaus 64’) - Weghorst
Goals: Weghorst 0-1 (82’)
Yellow cards: Klaassen, Sargent, Bittencourt / Schlager, Pongracic, Mbabu
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (Langenhagen)
Reactions of the coaches after the match