Wolfsburg keep European hopes alive with demolition of troubled Bochum


The chance of finishing among the European spots remains a distinct possibility for a Wolfsburg side who saw Mattias Svanberg net a double in a one-sided win against relegation-threatened Bochum.

Bochum 1-5 Wolfsburg
Goals: 0-1 Svanberg 10' (assist: Wimmer), 0-2 Kaminski 21' (assist: F. Nmecha), 0-3 Wimmer 33', 0-4 Svanberg 56', 1-4 Broschinski 69' (assist: Ordets), 1-5 Waldschmidt 77'

A packed Ruhrstadion brought the noise ahead of kick-off, as the home fans looked to do their part in helping the men in blue keep their noses above the Bundesliga drop zone. The problem for Thomas Letsch's side, however, was that Wolfsburg arrived in Bochum as the only team in the division to have collected more points on the road than back home at the Volkswagen Arena. When Jakub Kaminski picked out Patrick Wimmer on the right in the early stages, a hush fell over the stadium. The Austrian had an age to set himself and find Svanberg, whose diving header from close range signalled the start of Bochum's woes. A fine breakaway - led by Wimmer - was the precursor to the Wolves' second. Felix Nmecha fed Kaminski on the left, and the 20-year-old opened his body before finishing in style past Manuel Riemann. Philipp Hofmann looked to lift the pressure on the hosts, but the striker could only divert against the post following a free kick. The miss would prove costly, with Wimmer adding a third for the visitors with a shot that deflected off Patrick Osterhage before rolling in.

Niko Kovac masterminded a 4-0 Wolfsburg win over Bochum last October, and looked on course for a repeat here, in his 150th game as a Bundesliga coach. After standing firm against a mini-revival from Der Blau after the restart, the Wolves were soon feasting on a fourth goal. Sloppy in possession throughout, the home side gifted Svanberg the ball in a dangerous area. The Swede's subsequent shot looked saveable, but Riemann could only scoop it into his own net, summing up his side's malaise. A moment of joy for Letsch's men did arrive when Moritz Broschinski rattled in from close range following a trademark Bochum free kick. Yet this was never anything other than Wolfsburg's day. After Jonas Wind's attempt at a Panenka-style penalty struck the crossbar, Luca Waldschmidt was on hand to convert the rebound, capping a superb away-day performance and leaving the side from Lower Saxony within reach of the top six.

Match stats

  • Kaminski scored his second Bundesliga goal of the campaign with his 32nd shot in 2022/23.
  • All four of Svanberg's Bundesliga goals have been scored this year. He registered the first double of his Bundesliga career.
  • Wimmer has netted a personal-best four goals this term.
  • The Austrian attacker is also Wolfsburg's top assist provider this season with seven.
  • Bochum scored for the 13th time this season from a set piece. All 13 of those goals have come under Thomas Letsch.
  • The men in blue have conceded 12 headed goals this term, more than any other team in the division.

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Bochum: Riemann - Osei-Tutu (Gamboa 24'), Ordets, Masovic, Soares - Losilla (c), Osterhage (Asano 46') - Stöger - Zoller, Hofmann (Broschinski 46'), Antwi-Adjei
Unused subs: Esser, Stafylidis, Lampropoulos, Heintz, Kunde, Holtmann
Out: Schlotterbeck (gashed leg)
Coach: Thomas Letsch

Wolfsburg: Casteels - Baku, Bornauw (Guilavogui 46'), Lacroix, Van de Ven - Svanberg (Gerhardt 67'), Arnold (c),  F. Nmecha - Wimmer (Marmoush 46'), Wind, Kaminski (Cozza 79')
Unused subs: Pervan, Schulze, Ambros, Pejcinovic, Waldschmidt
Out: Fischer (infection), Franjic (muscular), L. Nmecha (knee), Otavio (ankle), Paredes (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac