bundesliga

Karim Bellarabi and Paulinho goals do the job for Bayer Leverkusen in Wolfsburg

Karim Bellarabi and Paulinho scored the goals as Bayer Leverkusen ended Wolfsburg's 12-match unbeaten run in Bundesliga matches at the Volkswagen Arena and inflicted a fourth straight competitive defeat on Oliver Glasner's men.

Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Bellarabi (25'), 0-2 Paulinho (90'+5)

Wolfsburg hadn't won in six matches in all competitions, but started brightly enough. Top scorer Wout Weghorst was denied a certain goal by Sven Bender in the 17th minute, and volleyed a Felix Klaus cross wide moments later. Leverkusen had created little, but all it took was one moment of invention to break through a Wolfsburg defence that had shipped 12 goals in their last three games. Bellarabi was allowed to run in unchallenged off the right-hand side and, despite the attentions of three green shirts, somehow managed to wriggle clear and fire under Pavao Pervan at his near-post.

Wolfsburg huffed and puffed, but still managed to carve out the better chances in a keenly contested second half. Maximilian Arnold's ferocious strike forced a diving save from Lukas Hradecky, before Klaus passed up the opportunity to play in Weghorst for what would have been a routine tap-in. Lady Luck was shining on Wolfsburg as Nadiem Amiri shot narrowly wide with Leverkusen's best opening of the half, but was nowhere to be found 10 minutes from time when Weghorst prodded wide with the goal gaping. Leverkusen substitute Paulinho finished an incisive counter deep into injury time to leave Glasner & Co. winless in four Bundesliga matches.

Match stats

  • Home defeats to Leverkusen bookended Wolfsburg's 12-match unbeaten league run at the Volkswagen Arena.
  • Paulinho scored his first Bundesliga goal.
  • Despite conceding five league goals in their last two, the Wolves still boast the tightest defence in the league (10 conceded).
  • Bellarabi has scored five goals in 11 appearances against Wolfsburg.
  • Bellarabi's last four Bundesliga goals have come on the road.
  • Leverkusen have scored at least once in their last 34 meetings with Wolfsburg.
  • Leverkusen have won their last four Bundesliga visits to Wolfsburg, having lost each of their previous five.

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Pervan – Tisserand, Bruma, Knoche (Nemcha 83') – William, Guilavogui (c), Arnold, Roussillon – Klaus (Steffen 74'), Victor (Brekalo 62') - Weghorst
Unused subs: Menzel, Malli, Gerhardt, Mbabu, Brooks, Rexhbecaj
Out: Camacho (ankle), Casteels (leg), Mehmedi (hamstring), Ginczek (match fitness), Schlager (ankle)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Aranguiz, Demirbay (Paulinho 90') – Bellarabi (Diaby 46'), Havertz (Baumgartlinger 42'), Amiri - Volland (c)
Unused subs: Özcan, Retsos, Dragovic, Alario, Pohjanpalo, Stanliewicz
Out: Bailey (suspended), L. Bender (thigh), Sinkgraven (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz