First Team

Tough battle with nothing to show for it

The Wolves came up just short on Saturday evening, losing 3-2 to VfB Stuttgart.

VfL-Wolfsburg-Spieler Lacroix in einem Zweikampf mit einem Gegenspieler im Spiel gegen den VfB-Stuttgart.

VfL Wolfsburg failed to pick up points on Matchday 24, with head coach Niko Kovac’s men losing 3-2 at home to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday evening. Joakim Maehle (50’) and Lukas Nmecha (83’) were on the mark for the Green-and-Whites, but that was not enough to cancel out a double from Serhou Guirassy (14’/54’ pen.) and another from Josha Vagnoman (77’), in front of a capacity crowd of 28,917 fans at the Volkswagen Arena. 

This means that the Wolves remain 13th in the table, with their next Bundesliga match coming away to leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday 10 March (kick-off: 19.30 CET).


  • 0-1 Guirassy (14’): Maximilian Mittelstädt finds himself with a lot of space on the left wing and fires an accurate cross into the Wolfsburg penalty area. Guirassy manages to outjump Moritz Jenz and flicks an unstoppable header from ten metres out into the far right corner.
  • 1-1 Maehle (50’): The ideal way to come out of the half-time break… Kevin Paredes and Lovro Majer combine perfectly to cut through the Stuttgart defence. The ball comes to Maehle, whose first-time strike from the left side of the box flies into the back of the net. 
  • 1-2 Guirassy (54’, pen): Heartbreak just moments later as Stuttgart immediately restore their lead. Goalscorer Maehle is a step too late at the other end of the park this time around and Enzo Millot goes down in the box. Guirassy steps up and converts the penalty. 
  • 1-3 Vagnoman (77’): VfL press forward and that leaves gaps which VfB are clever enough to exploit. On the right-hand edge of the box, Vagnoman finds himself in space and curls a shot into the far left corner.
  • 2-3 Nmecha (83’): Back on the scoresheet at last! Having only just come on, Nmecha finds himself in the right place at the right time with the ball bouncing around in the box, and he hands VfL a lifeline.


Niko Kovac: “At the start of the match, we had problems in the build-up phases, particularly down the right-hand side. After we went 1-0 down, things started to turn around but I still didn’t get the feeling that we were going to be able to score a goal. We started the second half off well but couldn’t keep it at 1-1 for long enough. We then had a period of pressure and got the crowd on our side. And then we ended up taking a killer blow. VfB just did everything really well. We tried hard but at the end of the day, the result was a totally fair one. Unlike against Frankfurt and Dortmund, I didn’t feel as if we deserved a draw today. We’ve just got to live with it and obviously it's a real disappointment.” 

Sebastian Hoeneß: “We’re delighted to have won here. I’ve got real respect for VfL, particularly after the last two matches that they’d put in. But we started off really on the front foot, took an early 1-0 lead and then didn’t give them much to work with. We didn’t look at our best at the start of the second half and immediately were pegged back to 1-1. Everyone knows how important it is to get a goal straight after that – those are the moments that decide the outcome of the match. After that, we were on it much more and so it was really annoying to let another goal in that brought it back to 3-2. But we all defended together so well and can be really proud of coming away with the three points.”

Line-ups and stats 

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku, Lacroix, Jenz, Maehle – Gerhardt (81‘ Vranckx), Arnold, Cerny (46’ Tomas), Majer (64’ Sarr), Paredes (81’ Nmecha) – Behrens (64’ Wind)

Subs: Pervan (GK), Fischer, Zesiger, Kaminski   

VfB Stuttgart: Nübel – Rouault, Anton, Ito – Vagnoman, Karazor, Stiller (90‘+7 Dahoud), Mittelstädt (86‘ Jeong), Millot (71‘ Undav), Führich (71‘ Leweling) – Guirassy (86‘ Silas)

Subs: Bredlow (GK), Chase, Stenzel, Stergiou   

Goals: 0-1 Guirassy (14’), 1-1 Maehle (50’), 1-2 Guirassy (54’, pen), 1-3 Vagnoman (77’), 2-3 Nmecha (83’)     

Yellow cards: Gelbe Karten: Arnold, Baku, Maehle (5) / Anton, Karazor

Referee: Benjamin Brand (Schwebheim)

Attendance: 28,917 at Volkswagen Arena (sold out)