The Wolves began brightly and had the better of the first-half action, but were unable to make the most of some promising opportunities to score. Oliver Glasner’s men were robust in defence though, and never truly looked like conceding, even as the visitors increased the pressure after the break in what was ultimately a fair result for both sides.
Schlager and Mehmedi return
Glasner made two changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Union Berlin last week. Kevin Mbabu was sidelined with a thigh complaint and Daniel Ginczek began on the bench, so Xaver Schlager and Admir Mehmedi replaced them in the starting line-up, while Renato Steffen deputised at right-back once again in light of William’s ongoing absence. Jerome Roussillon, meanwhile, was fit enough for a place among the substitutes after recovering from a thigh injury of his own.
Bright start, but no goals
The Wolves had won five of their previous seven assignments prior to kick-off and duly began confidently, forcing their visitors onto the back foot. Mehmedi had the first sight of goal, drawing a save from Peter Gulacsi from the edge of the box, before Josip Brekalo gave another early warning sign with a brilliant pass that sent Wout Weghorst through, only for the away defence to make a recovery block just as the Dutchman got his shot away.
Paulo Otavio then stung Gulacsi’s palms with a fierce shot from a tight angle as Glasner’s charges sought to translate their dominance into goals, while at the other end of the pitch Angelino had the only real chance for Leipzig, but blazed off target after cutting inside onto his weaker right foot. Maximilian Arnold fizzed a volley narrowly wide of the post on the stroke of half-time, leaving the game goalless at the interval.
Cancelling each other out
The match continued largely in the same vein after the break as the teams refused to give each other an inch in a packed midfield battle. The Wolves continued to get forward with purpose at every opportunity, but Leipzig defended with greater compactness and reduced the Green-and-Whites’ openings in the final third. Indeed, the first chance of the half fell to Marcel Sabitzer, but Koen Casteels was equal to his low shot from the edge of the area. Weghorst replied in kind moments later at the other end, only to skew his left-footed effort wide of the mark.
Speculative attempts from distance were the best either side could muster, as Schlager also saw his low drive roll the wrong side of the post before Patrik Schick sent Casteels scrambling across his line with a stoppage-time header. A winner for either side would have been harsh, however, leaving VfL with a point from another committed, whole-hearted display.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) – Steffen (Roussillon 84’), Knoche, Brooks, Otavio – Gerhardt, Schlager, Arnold – Brekalo (Klaus 76’), Mehmedi (Joao Victor 63’) – Weghorst
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg, Angelino (Lookman 81’) – Sabitzer (c), Laimer – Nkunku, Forsberg (Dani Olmo 60’) – Schick, Poulsen (Werner 60’)
Yellow cards: Otavio, Weghorst / Upamecano, Laimer, Dani Olmo
Referee: Daniel Schlager (Hügelsheim)