Ridle Baku’s magnificent strike from Maximilian Philipp’s cross restored parity for VfL after Matheus Cunha had given Hertha an early lead at the Olympiastadion. The Wolves had their backs to the wall for the majority of the second half, but Oliver Glasner’s side stood firm to stretch their unbeaten start to six Bundesliga matches.
Wolves without midfield duo
Glasner made three changes to the team that beat Arminia Bielefeld last weekend, two of which were enforced. Josuha Guilavogui suffered a muscle injury during last Sunday’s 2-1 win, while Maximilian Arnold was absent because his wife was due to give birth. Admir Mehmedi was named on the bench, with Xaver Schlager, Yannick Gerhardt and Josip Brekalo coming into the team.
Baku piledriver restores parity
Philipp, who was making his second league start for the club following his loan move from Dinamo Moscow, thought he had given VfL an early lead when he tapped home Wout Weghorst’s low cross, but the 26-year-old was denied by the linesman’s flag. The hosts responded immediately, Cunha’s low effort appearing to wrong-foot Koen Casteels on its way into the Wolves net.
Brekalo and Gerhardt had efforts saved by Alexander Schwolow as VfL grew into the game, but there was nothing the Hertha shot-stopper could do about Baku’s fierce 20th-minute strike, which flew into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Weghorst’s challenge on Omar Alderete nine minutes before the break was enough for referee Martin Petersen to point to the spot, but the decision was overruled by VAR and the teams went into half-time on level terms.
No way past Casteels
The hosts continued to exert pressure on the Wolves in the second half, with Casteels brilliantly denying Dodi Lukebakio eight minutes after the restart. The Belgian saved Jhon Cordoba’s shot from a tight angle five minutes later, before Maxence Lacroix produced a superb block to prevent the Colombian striker from restoring Hertha’s one-goal advantage.
Weghorst headed second-half substitute Mehmedi’s cross narrowly wide in a rare VfL attack, while Bruno Labbadia’s charges could have snatched all three points late on when Cordoba and Dedryck Boyata both flashed headers off target. There was no way through for either side, however, as the Wolves held on for their fifth league draw of the campaign.
Hertha Berlin: Schwolow - Pekarik, Boyata, Alderete, Mittelstädt (Plattenhardt 74’) - Stark, Tousart (Guendouzi 57’) - Lukebakio (Dilrosun 74’), Darida, Cunha - Cordoba (Piatek 82’)
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Klaus 85’) - Schlager, Gerhardt - Steffen, Philipp (Mehmedi 65’), Brekalo (Joao Victor 65’) - Weghorst (Bialek 90+3’)
Goals: Cunha (6’), Baku (20’)
Yellow cards: Plattenhardt, Pekarik, Guendouzi / Gerhardt
Referee: Martin Petersen (Stuttgart)