Wout Weghorst strikes as Wolfsburg secure opening win over Cologne
Maximilian Arnold and Wout Weghorst gave Wolfsburg all three points as they opened their season with a 2-1 win over newly-promoted Cologne.
Wolfsburg 2-1 Cologne
Goals: 1-0 Arnold (16’), 2-0 Weghorst (60'), 2-1 Terrode (90+1')
Bundesliga 2 champions Cologne began their quest for top flight survival in Wolfsburg against a side they have had trouble beating in recent years. The Billy Goats looked ready for the fight in the early stages but conceded after just a quarter of an hour when a Wolfsburg throw-in was only cleared as far as Maximilian Arnold, who didn't hesitate to put his left foot through it to score a sumptuous volley. Wolfsburg managed to hold the visitors at arm’s length for the remainder of the half, leaving their visitors needing to find another gear in order to get back on level terms after the break.
Wolfsburg picked up where they’d left off before the interval, however, putting pressure on Cologne and asking questions in front of goal. Cologne keeper Timo Horn proved up to all challenges he faced, though, and kept his side’s hopes of an equaliser alive. He was powerless to prevent Weghorst getting his name on the scoresheet though, the big Dutchman receiving Xaver Schlager's pass before beat two defenders and firing home. With full time approaching, Cologne became more adventurous and nearly grabbed a goal through captain Jonas Hector, but his shot was too tame to really trouble Koen Casteels. There was a deserved consolation for the visitors late on though, when substitute Simon Terrode netted in the first minute of added time, but ultimately it was too little too late.
- Schlager made his Bundesliga debut, replacing Yannick Gerhardt in the side. This was coach Oliver Glasner’s only change from the line-up that faced Aue in the DFB Cup. Joao Victor also made his first-ever Bundesliga appearance.
- Arnold scored with Wolfsburg’s first chance of the match. Goals from distance have become something of a speciality for him; it was the 16th such goal of his career.
- Wolfsburg are now unbeaten in seven at the Volkswagen Arena against Cologne, only ever suffering one home Bundesliga loss (3-2 in January 2010).
- Wolfsburg had 15 attempts on goal compared to Cologne's 11, with most of them (11) coming from outside the box.
- Half of Cologne’s starting line-up were Bundesliga debutants: Rafael Czichos, Kingsley Ehizibue, Birger Verstraete, Kingsley Schindler, and Dominick Drexler.
- Ellyes Skhiri came off the bench to make his Bundesliga debut, as well.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Knoche, Guilavogui (c), Brooks – William, Schlager, Arnold, Roussillon (Steffen 74') – Klaus (Brekalo 82'), Weghorst (Nmecha 88'), Victor
Unused subs: Pervan, Malli, Gerhardt, Uduokhai, Mbabu, Rexhbecaj
Out: Bruma (Achilles tendon), Camacho (ankle), Ginczek (back), Otavio (muscular)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Cologne: Horn – Ehizibue, Mere, Czichos, Hector (c) – Kainz (Churlinov 70'), Schindler, Höger (Skhiri 56'), Verstraete, Drexler (Terodde 62') – Modeste
Unused subs: Kessler, Sobiech, Risse, Koziello, Bornauw, Bader
Out: Clemens (knee), Cordoba (suspended), Jakobs (hip), Katterbach (muscular), Risse (thigh). Hauptmann (thigh)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
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