First-half goals from Wout Weghorst and Xaver Schlager were enough to earn all three points for Wolfsburg at the Veltins-Arena on Saturday, condemning Schalke to another defeat.
The still-unbeaten Wolfsburg came flying out of the blocks at Schalke, with Schlager's close-range shot deflecting behind off Matija Nastasic. Maximilian Arnold curled in the ensuing corner and Weghorst glanced a header superbly across goal and in off the post to open the scoring. Chances continued to flow at one end of the pitch with Weghorst hitting the side-netting before recently capped Germany international Ridle Baku forced a good save from Frederik Rönnow at his near post. Arnold struck the post with his next corner as Wolfsburg continued to pile on the early pressure. Renato Steffen saw a header saved on his goal-line by Rönnow before the lead was finally doubled on 24 minutes. Schlager broke from midfield before exchanging passes with Steffen and then Weghorst, before slotting home. Schalke found their groove before the break and began to create chances of their own, with Goncalo Paciencia having the Royal Blues' best opening but seeing his shot saved by Koen Casteels from the edge of the Wolfsburg box. Benito Raman - who came on for Amine Harit on 39 minutes - then forced Casteels into action at his near post before the half came to an end.
Manuel Baum changed to a four-man defence at the start of the second half with Steven Skrzybski on for Benjamin Stambouli at half-time. The change had an immediate effect with Raman's cross finding the head of Paciencia, and Mark Uth coming within inches of tapping in his effort in at the back post. Uth was sent in on goal, but blazed his shot high over the crossbar from six yards out as Schalke continued to show fighting spirit. Wolfsburg's first real chance since the restart fell in the 63rd minute as Steffen's cut-back was met by Weghorst, but Rönnow saved on his line once again, this time with his chest. Paciencia had an equally big chance to get Schalke back in the game minutes later, superbly controlling a cross into the box before smashing a shot straight at Casteels. Raman fired an effort off the crossbar in the final minutes, but Wolfsburg held on to extend their unbeaten start to the campaign to eight matches, leaving Schalke in the relegation spots and without a league win since January.
- Weghorst has scored in four of his last five Bundesliga games.
- This was the first time Wolfsburg have gone ahead in an away game in the Bundesliga this season. It's also their first away win of the season after three successive 1-1 draws.
- Wolfsburg had 15 shots on goal in the first half. A new record for the Wolves in an away game.
- Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are the only two teams yet to taste defeat in the Bundesliga this season.
- Only second-placed RB Leipzig have conceded fewer goals (four) than Wolfsburg's five against. At the other end, the Wolves' haul of nine scored is the lowest in the top half of the table.
- Schalke have gone an unwanted club record 24 Bundesliga games without a win. Only Tasmania Berlin - winless in 31 matches in 1965/66 - have ever endured a longer run.
Watch: Weghorst: "Realy important for me to score with my head"
Schalke: Rönnow - Thiaw, Stambouli (Skrzybski 46'), Nastasic - Mascarell (c) - Ludewig, Harit (Raman 39'), Serdar (Kutucu 77'), Oczipka - Paciencia (Bentaleb 77'), Uth
Unused subs: Fährmann, Kabak, Ibisevic, Boujellab, Bozdogan
Out: Schöpf (calf)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon - Schlager, Arnold - Steffen (Victor 73'), Mehmedi (Philipp 89'), Brekalo (Klaus 80') - Weghorst (Bialek 89')
Unused subs: Pervan, Otavio, Mbabu, Gerhardt, Siersieben
Out: Bruma (thigh), Ginczek (muscular), Pongracic (not included)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Watch: Rönnow: "We have to get back on track"