Yannick Gerhardt scored against his former club Cologne as Wolfsburg won 2-0 on their visit to the RheinEnergieStadion on Matchday 22.
Wolfsburg were comfortably beaten and outplayed last weekend against RB Leipzig, but they responded in emphatic fashion against Cologne as they took the lead within four minutes. The hosts could only clear a dangerous attack from Die Wölfe to Omar Marmoush, who found Gerhardt in space just inside the area and, although the 28-year-old's side-footed effort was straight at Marvin Schwäbe, the ball squirmed under the goalkeeper. Die Geißböcke pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but they only managed one shot on target before the interval. The visitors, meanwhile, tested Schwäbe twice with long-range strikes from Maximilian Arnold and Ridle Baku - on both occasions, the shot-stopper made comfortable saves.
After the break, Cologne posed more of a threat to Wolfsburg's backline. Davie Selke forced Koen Casteels into an albeit easy stop before Timo Hübers coaxed a far more acrobatic leap out of the Belgium international, before Steffen Tigges could only fire wide of the post when the ball fell fortuitously to him. However, it was instead Wolfsburg who showed efficiency in the final third as they doubled their lead shortly after the hour mark. A Wolfsburg break found Kilian Fisher in the box, and Jonas Hector could only foul the right-back as he attempted to defend a possible shot. Referee Frank Willenborg immediately pointed to the spot and, from 12 yards, Wolfsburg captain Arnold made no mistake. That second goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of Steffen Baumgart's side, and, although they had a Hübers strike ruled out for offside in injury time, they never looked like staging a comeback. As a result, they remain in 12th, while the three points move up their conquerors to seventh.
- Wolfsburg are now unbeaten in each of the 16 games in all competitions in which Gerhardt has scored since his move from Cologne in 2016.
- The victory ended a run of four games without a win and two without a goal for Niko Kovac's side.
- Wolfsburg have won two consecutive games in Cologne for only the second time after doing so in 2003.
- Kingsley Schindler made his 50th appearance for Cologne in the Bundesliga.
- The defeat was Cologne's first at home in 2023.
- Cologne have lost just two of their previous eight home games versus Wolfsburg, although those defeats have come in the last two meetings.
Cologne: Schwäbe - Schindler, Hübers, Chabot, Hector (c) - Skhiri - Maina (Diehl 84'), Olesen (Adamyan 73'), Ljubicic – Selke, Tigges (Lemperle 78')
Unused subs: Horn, Köbbing, Soldo, Martel, Downs
Out: Andersson (knee), Dietz (cruciate ligament), Kilian (muscular), Limnios (cruciate ligament), Pedersen (muscular), Uth (pelvis), Thielmann (thigh)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Fischer, Lacroix, Van de Ven, Otavio - Svanberg (F. Nmecha 80'), Arnold (c), Gerhardt - Baku (Kaminski 64'), Marmoush (Wind 88'), Wimmer (Paredes 88')
Unused subs: Pervan, Guilavogui, Franjic, Waldschmidt,
Out: Bornauw (suspended), L. Nmecha (illness)
Coach: Niko Kovac
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