First Team

First home defeat

VfL Wolfsburg lost 2-1 to leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

VfL-Wolfsburg-Spieler Maehle bei einem Zweikampf im Spiel gegen Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

VfL Wolfsburg suffered their first home defeat in their fourth home match of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season. After three wins, it was leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen who ended the Wolves’ perfect record at the Volkswagen Arena, claiming a 2-1 victory. Maxence Lacroix cancelled out Jeremie Frimpong’s opener shortly before half-time, but VfL could find no reply to the second strike from the Bundesliga’s form team, despite forcing them to hang on at the end.


  • 0-1 Frimpong (13’): Jonas Wind finds himself in a promising position to finish after a free kick, but hits the ball against himself. Leverkusen then break quickly, with Victor Boniface taking out three Wolfsburg players and supplying Frimpong at the far post, who artistically finds the net from a tight angle.
  • 1-1 Lacroix (41’): The Wolves equalise – and it’s fully deserved! Leverkusen only clear a Maximilian Arnold corner as far as Mattias Svanberg on the edge of the area. His effort is blocked by Jonathan Tah, but the rebound lands at the feet of the returning Moritz Jenz, who has the presence of mind to shift it right to his defensive colleague Lacroix, who does the rest.
  • 1-2 Grimaldo (62’): Leverkusen retake the lead. Arnold and Svanberg dally and give the ball away in their own penalty area, allowing Frimpong to cut in from the right. His cross evades Florian Wirtz, but Alex Grimaldo is standing behind and his shot is deflected by Arnold, leaving Pavao Pervan with no chance.


Niko Kovac: “It was an unfortunate defeat. You can’t control Leverkusen for the full 90 minutes the way we did in the first half. What’s most frustrating for me is the two goals we conceded, which we could have avoided. Other than that, though, I can only praise my team because the boys played well against very good opponents.”

Xabi Alonso: “It was a very good win for us today. We were prepared for a tough game because Wolfsburg had won all of their previous matches in this stadium. The first half was difficult and they put us under pressure after we scored. The second half was better; we controlled the game and had enough chances to score a third. In the end we’re happy that Lukas [Hradecky] ensured that we held onto all three points. It could have ended in a draw.”

Line-ups and stats

VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan – Bornauw (78‘ Kaminski), Lacroix, Jenz – Baku, Svanberg (71‘ Majer), Arnold, Maehle – Gerhardt (78‘ Paredes), Tomas (46‘ Sarr) – Wind

Subs: Schulze (GK), Zesiger, Cozza, Wimmer, Pejcinovic

Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Hradecky – Stanisic (88’ Kossounou), Tah, Tapsoba – Frimpong (88’ Tella), Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo – Hofmann (88‘ Amiri), Adli (60‘ Wirtz) – Boniface

Subs: Kovar (GK), Hincapie, Andrich, Schick, Hlozek

Goals: 0-1 Frimpong (13‘), 1-1 Lacroix (41‘), 1-2 Grimaldo (62‘)

Yellow cards: Arnold, Baku, Maehle / Palacios, Xhaka, Adli, Hofmann, Tapsoba

Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)

Attendance: 28,917 at Volkswagen Arena