Wolfsburg kept a club record sixth clean sheet in succession as a Renato Steffen double and wonderful Maximilian Arnold strike at the other end sent the Wolves into third-place courtesy of a 3-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld on Friday night.
Oliver Glasner's in-form visitors made the trip to Bielefeld knowing that a point would be enough to take them into third for the time being and a win would move them within two points of RB Leipzig in second as Matchday 22 got underway at the Schüco Arena. But it was the home team that had the first sight of goal as Michel Vlap - one of Bielefeld's heroes in the 3-3 draw at Bayern Munich on Monday - spotted Koen Casteels off his line but the 23-year-old's effort from just inside the Wolfsburg half didn't have the execution to match the ambition. Not long after, the Wolves were ahead thanks to a free-flowing counter-attack that saw Bielefeld clinically sliced open and resulted in Yannick Gerhardt squaring for Steffen to tap home inside the six-yard box. The hosts should have almost immediately pulled level but Vlap was again guilty of spurning an opening, this time when he fired wired from 15-yards out and in the centre of the Wolfsburg goal.
Just two minutes after break, Wolfsburg and Steffen both had their second of the game. Wout Weghorst angled a volley at goal from Arnold's free-kick that should have been routinely collected by Stefan Ortega in the Bielefeld goal but he could only fumble to Steffen's feet; allowing the midfielder to tuck away the simplest of chances. Wolfsburg's third seven minutes later was far less straightforward as Arnold exchanged passes with Weghorst on the edge of the box before the 26-year-old Germany international passed a stunning left-footed effort into the top-corner from 20-yards. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for Glasner's side as they secured a fifth win in their last six Bundesliga outings that closes the gap on Leipzig before the latter travel to Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
- Steffen's fourth and fifth goals of the campaign take him to 16 in total across his Bundesliga career.
- Wolfsburg are now unbeaten in eight league matches (W5, D3) and they have won all four of their last away games.
- The Wolves also kept a club record sixth clean sheet in succession.
- Arnold has scored nine of his last 12 Bundesliga goals from outside the 18-yard box.
- Bielefeld have now lost all of the previous five meetings with Wolfsburg, conceding 12 times and scoring just twice in the process.
Watch: Casteels: "It's going very well"
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen (de Medina 75') - Kunze, Prietl - Doan (Gebauer 60'), Vlap (Cordova 60'), Voglsammer (Okugawa 60') - Klos (c) (Schipplock 89')
Unused subs: Linner, van der Hoorn, Seufert, Hartel
Out: Soukou (knock)
Coach: Uwe Neuhaus
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Lacroix (Pongracic 83'), Brooks, Otavio - Schlager (Guilavogui 74'), Arnold (Philipp 74') - Baku, Gerhardt, Steffen (Brekalo 74') - Weghorst (Bialek 83')
Unused subs: Pervan, Roussillon, Mehmedi, Victor
Coach: Oliver Glasner