WATCH: MILOS PANTOVIC ON BOCHUM'S SURVIVAL CHANCES
WATCH: ARNOLD ON WOLFSBURG'S SLUMP
FULL-TIME! BOCHUM 1-0 WOLFSBURG
Löwen misses the chance to put the icing on the cake in added time, the Bochum sub finding the side netting at the end of a blistering counter. The hosts climb to 11th, five clear of the relegation play-off spot. Wolfsburg slip to 14th, on the back of their sixth straight Bundesliga defeat.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 90 minutes
Armel Bella Kotchap 34.71km/h
Takuma Asano 33.71km/h
Gerrit Holtmann 33.54km/h
ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
Wolfsburg loanee Rexhbecaj gets the hook. He's been a hive of energy, and ranks as the Most Pressed Player, according to AWS Match Facts. How the Wolves could have used his endeavour.
HIGH AND WIDE
Nmecha launches a speculative effort into the stands from the left-hand corner of the Bochum area. Sums up the visitors' afternoon.
PANTOVIC MAKES WAY
Pantovic heads off, his third goal of the season potentially a decisive one. Hertha loanee Eduard Löwen is on to shore up the midfield.
Bialek, a striker, replaces left wing-back Roussillon as Wolfsburg chase the game. Bochum introduce the fleet-of-foot Antwi-Adjei for the industrious Asano in attack.
Wolfsburg have lost their last seven outings in all competitions, and are winless in their last eight. If they can't turn this around, the Wolves will end the day just two points above the relegation play-off spot.
The game's opening up now as Pantovic goes into the Wolfsburg box. A deflection off Brooks takes the sting out of his effort, though, and Casteels makes an easy stop.
Felix Nmecha has a go from outside the area. It's a difficult one for Riemann, zipping off the greasy turf right in front of the diving Bochum keeper, who does really well to get two hands on it and prevent a corner.
Bochum get the breakthrough! Weghorst misplaces a pass on halfway, allowing the hosts to shift the ball up towards Asano. He finds Holtmann, who whips a peach of a cross into the six-yard area. Casteels starts to come, but halts his run halfway and is powerless to stop Pantovic glancing in with his head.
GOAL!1 : 0
Bochum respond as Polter feeds Holtmann in a shooting position, but he can't keep his shot down.
Arnold's corner bounces awkwardly in the box, before sitting up for Philipp. He swipes goalwards, with Soares putting his body on the line to make a decisive block.
Distance run (km)
Anthony Losilla gets his head to Rexhbecaj's inswinging free-kick, but plants the ball straight into Casteels' bread basket. Had to find a corner! Big chance not taken by Bochum.
Baku takes the bull by the horns with a purposeful run off the right-hand side. He drives across the Bochum box, before letting fly from 18 yards and forcing a routine save out of Riemann.
Uncertainty in the Wolfsburg ranks as Roussillon and Brooks get in a pickle at the back. A needless corner is the result. It's worked to Pantovic, who sends a wild effort off target, before the half-time whistle sounds. Bochum the happier of the two sides at the break.
Elvis Rexhbecaj is on loan at Bochum from Wolfsburg, and has started all 18 league games so far this season. Coach Thomas Reis also has Wolfsburg roots, having coached the club's U19s for over three years before taking up the Bochum reins in September 2019.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 30 minutes
Gerrit Holtmann 33.54km/h
Maxence Lacroix 33.24km/h
Cristian Gamboa 33.21km/h
Wolfsburg with their first sight of Riemann's goal as Baku drives wide with a deflection. The ensuing corner is easily dealt with, though.
BOCHUM IN CHARGE
4 off target
1 on target
0 off target
1 on target
Gamboa's long-throw evades everyone on its way towards Pantovic on the edge of the six-yard area. He goes for an overhead kick, but it lacks the power to trouble Casteels. We've already seen two spectacular - albeit long-range - goals from the former Bayern youngster this season.
Bochum have started brightly, with Asano causing problems. Losilla meets the game's first corner, but heads over. Wolfsburg look shaky.
CASTEELS SPEAKS OF 'NEW-FOUND ENERGY'
With Wolfsburg back in training since 29 December, captain Koen Casteels believes the togetherness and morale on the training ground will serve his team in today’s Matchday 18 match. “It’s like a fresh start for us,” the goalkeeper told the club’s website. “We’ve got a positive feeling back and that’s important. There’s obviously nothing that can replace victories, but over the last few days we’ve been training really hard, we’ve laid the foundations and we’re ready to put that into practice out on the pitch and set about things with a new-found energy.”
WOLVES IN A RUT
Wolfsburg, meanwhile, will be desperate to reignite their season following a mini collapse that has seen the side from Lower Saxony lose their last seven games in all competitions. Florian Kohfeldt’s men are also winless in their last eight, giving today’s trip to Bochum hugely added importance for the Wolves.
REIS WANTS MORE GOALS
Speaking ahead of today’s game, Bochum coach Thomas Reis said, “We want to allow fewer scoring chances in the second half of the season for our opponents and become more clinical up front. Going forward, we want to be alert.” New signing, Jürgen Locadia, has recently arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion to boost the Bochum attack.
THE REVERSE FIXTURE
In the corresponding fixture this term, Wolfsburg came out on top 1-0 thanks to Wout Weghorst’s 22nd-minute winner on Matchday 1. Goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, voted Bochum’s player of the first half of the season - denied the Dutch forward a second by saving a first-half penalty while today’s hosts were reduced to ten when Robert Tesche received his marching orders.
THE STORY SO FAR
Only a two-goal margin separates Bochum (13th) from Wolfsburg (14th) in the Bundesliga standings with both teams keen to kick-off their Rückrunde campaign with an all-important three points at the Ruhrstadion.
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Cristian Gamboa and Armel Bella-Kotchap come into the Bochum defence. As for Wolfsburg, left-back Jerome Roussillon and forward Maximilian Philipp get the nod.
BOCHUM STARTING LINE-UP
Riemann – Gamboa, Leitsch, Bella-Kotchap, Soares - Pantovic, Losilla (c), Rexhbecaj – Asano, Polter, Holtmann
Esser, Bockhorn, Lampropoulos, Osterhage, Tesche, Löwen, Locadia, Antwi-Adjei, Ganvoula
WOLFSBURG STARTING LINE-UP
Casteels (c) – Lacroix, Bornauw, Brooks – Baku, Arnold, Gerhardt, Roussillon – Waldschmidt, Weghorst, Philipp
Pervan, Mbabu, van de Ven, Guilavogui, F. Nmecha, Steffen, Bialek
Here you can find all the information about Bochum against Wolfsburg on Matchday 18.