VfL Wolfsburg picked up a long-awaited three points on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 victory at Köln, registering their first win in the second half of the Bundesliga season. Yannick Gerhardt fired the Green-and-Whites in front in just the fourth minute. In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, VfL kept it tight at the back while continuing to ask questions in attack. Eventually it was Maximilian Arnold’s 68th-minute penalty which sealed the Wolves’ first win in six games in all competitions. Niko Kovac’s side can follow that up next Sunday, 5 March, when they host Eintracht Frankfurt at the Volkswagen Arena (kick-off 17:30 CET).
0-1 Gerhardt (4’): What a start! Köln fail to clear the ball and Omar Marmoush sends it back into the danger area, where Gerhardt strikes centrally with his left foot to make it 1-0.
0-2 Arnold (68’): Cool from the spot! Substitute Jakub Kaminski plays in Kilian Fischer in the penalty area, who’s taken out by Jonas Hector. VfL captain Arnold, who missed a penalty two weeks ago at Schalke, makes no mistake this time, placing the ball into the bottom right corner with Köln goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe diving the other way.
Niko Kovac: “Today my team played really well against a very good opponent. We knew it wouldn’t be easy here. We defended very well, didn’t give them much space and scored a nice goal from a good passage of play. It’s nice when something that we’ve worked on in training comes off in a game too. In terms of our attacking play we could have finished off one or two moves a bit better. But on the whole I’m satisfied.”
Steffen Baumgart: “My team did a lot for the game and didn’t give up at all. Wolfsburg’s first shot went in, and their second did too. Despite that, we gave it our all but just weren’t able to create any clear-cut chances. Still, we kept going until the end.”
Line-up and stats
1. FC Köln: Schwäbe – Schindler, Hübers, Chabot, Hector – Olesen (74´ Adamyan), Skhiri, Ljubicic, Maina (84´ Diehl) – Selke, Tigges (78´ Lemperle)
Subs: T. Horn (GK), Köbbing (GK), Soldo, Martel, Downs
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Fischer, Lacroix, van de Ven, Otavio – Arnold – Baku (64´ Kaminski), Svanberg (80´ F. Nmecha), Gerhardt, Wimmer (88´ Wind) – Marmoush (88´ Paredes)
Subs: Pervan (GK), Cozza, Franjic, Guilavogui, Waldschmidt
Goals: 0-1 Gerhardt (4´), 0-2 Arnold (68´/pen)
Yellow cards: Hector / Svanberg, F. Nmecha
Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück)
Attendance: 49,300 at RheinEnergieStadion