First Team

VfL come away empty-handed

Wolves go down 2-1 to Bayern in the last match of the year.

Der VfL-Wolfsburg-Spieler Joakim Maehle im Zweikampf.

VfL Wolfsburg went into the winter break on the back of a home defeat, with head coach Niko Kovac’s men going down 2-1 to record Bundesliga-winners Bayern München on Wednesday evening. Maximilian Arnold (45’+2) scored for the Green-and-Whites in front of a capacity crowd of 28,917 at the Volkswagen Arena, but that was not enough to cancel out earlier goals from Jamal Musiala (33’) and Harry Kane (43’).

The Wolves will spend the break in tenth spot in the table, with their next match – the final game of the first half of the season – coming on Saturday 13 January (kick-off: 15.30 CET), away to 1. FSV Mainz 05.


  • 0-1 Musiala (33’): The away team finally convert a prolonged period of pressure into a goal. Müller sends over a pinpoint cross from the right onto the head of Musiala, who gives Casteels no chance and converts from close range.
  • 0-2 Kane (43’): Is there any way of stopping him? Müller is once again the provider, his pass finding Kane who then curls it home into the top corner from a good 25 yards out.
  • 1-2 Arnold (45’+2): The Green-and-Whites are back in it! Joakim Maehle’s hard work sets up VfL captain Arnold, who swings his sweet left foot and fires home a goal every bit as impressive as Kane’s into the left-hand corner, eluding Manuel Neuer’s dive. What a strike!


Niko Kovac: “The first ten minutes were fine. Mattias Svanberg had a chance for us, and with a bit more precision it could have been even more dangerous. After that, we became too passive. We wanted to put our opponents under pressure and defend with a high press, but we never challenged for the ball in the first half. If you don’t stand up to Bayern physically, it’s tough because their players have simply got too much quality. We came out well after the break and showed a different side, but unfortunately we didn’t get the rewards for our efforts. The way we went about it, though, was absolutely fine.”

Thomas Tuchel: “We got off to a nervous start but after that, we took the game to our opponents and played it in their half. We worked hard, showed discipline in defence and scored two goals. Everyone then thought that they were already back in the changing rooms for half-time and a moment’s inattention saw us punished. The goal gave Wolfsburg a lot of belief and helped them get their confidence back. They then came at us with a high press, and we couldn’t manage to release the pressure. We rode it out – at times using our skill, other times with a bit of luck, and at the end of the day, it was a great team performance. Once again, we gave it our all physically and were good value for what was a close-run victory.”

Line-ups and stats

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Bornauw, Jenz, Zesiger (46‘ Rogerio) – Baku (84‘ Cerny), Vranckx, Arnold, Maehle, Svanberg (72‘ Paredes), Majer (52‘ Tomas) – Wind

Subs: Pervan (GK), Cozza, Fischer, Gerhardt, Kaminski

Bayern München: Neuer – Laimer, Upamecano, Kim, Davies – Pavlovic, Musiala (90‘+3 Choupo-Moting), Guerreiro, Sane – Müller (63‘ de Ligt), Kane

Subs: Peretz (GK), Krätzig, Nkili, Tel

Goals: 0-1 Musiala (33‘), 0-2 Kane (43‘), 1-2 Arnold (45‘+2)   

Yellow cards: Zesiger, Majer, Baku, Tomas / Pavlovic, Gurreiro

Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)

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