The Wolves looked to be on course for victory over their fellow European contenders at the Volkswagen Arena when Weghorst’s double put VfL firmly in control of the game. However, goals from Lucas Höler and Roland Sallai either side of the interval brought the Black Forest club a share of the points.
Steffen returns, two up top
Head coach Oliver Glasner stuck largely with the side that earned a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen last week, although he did make two changes. Renato Steffen returned from suspension in place of Joao Victor, while Daniel Ginczek partnered Weghorst up front, coming into the team for the injured Admir Mehmedi.
Weghorst at the double
There was very little room to manoeuvre in an intense opening period, with both teams pressing high and harrying each other in numbers. Once the game settled, however, the Wolves began to dominate and took the lead after Maximilian Arnold’s superb pass released Steffen down the right wing. His cut-back from the byline was right into the path of Weghorst, who swept home from ten yards.
That sparked a lengthy period of pressure from Glasner’s charges, who doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Weghorst scored his 14th Bundesliga goal of the season, coolly sending Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow the wrong way from the penalty spot. Seconds later Ginczek thought he had made it 3-0, only to see his header disallowed for handball. Höler’s header to reduce the deficit just before half-time rubbed extra salt into that particular wound.
The visitors pulled level within seconds of the restart when a defensive mix-up allowed Höler to go one-on-one with Koen Casteels. The VfL goalkeeper made a brilliant save, but Sallai equalised on the rebound with a looping header. VfL responded well and went agonisingly close to re-taking the lead when Josip Brekalo dribbled from the halfway line to the edge of the Freiburg area, but his shot went just the wrong side of the post.
Kevin Mbabu then produced an incredible goal-line clearance from close range to deny what looked to be a certain goal from Philipp Lienhart as the match began to open up. The Wolves continued to attack with venom, and Arnold saw a characteristic long-range shot whistle over the bar before Weghorst headed wide late on from Mbabu’s right-wing cross. However, despite ending the game with 22 efforts on goal, VfL were unable to add to the scoreline and had to settle for a point – albeit one which extends their lead over seventh-placed TSG Hoffenheim to three points, keeping them on course for a top-six finish.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon – Steffen (Victor 55’), Schlager (Gerhardt 66’), Arnold, Brekalo (Klaus 55’) – Ginczek (Marmoush 84’), Weghorst
SC Freiburg: Schwolow – Schmidt, Lienhart, Heintz, Günter (Itter 77’) – Sallai (Kwon 63’), Koch (Frantz 77’), Höfler, Grifo (Haberer 90+1’) – Höler, Waldschmidt (Petersen 63’)
Goals: 1-0 Weghorst (14’), 2-0 Weghorst (pen. 27’), 2-1 Höler (43’), 2-2 Sallai (46’)
Yellow cards: - / Höfler
Referee: Bastian Dankert (Rostock)