Renato Steffen’s header cancelled out Matthias Zimmermann’s goal to earn 10-man Wolfsburg a point at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf, and leave Uwe Rösler waiting for his first Bundesliga win.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Zimmermann (13’), 1-1 Steffen (50’)
Red card: Pongracic (48’)
Düsseldorf came into the game with renewed confidence after their 5-2 DFB Cup win over Kaiserslautern in Rösler’s second game. New signing Valon Berisha demonstrated that with a volleyed scissor kick on the edge of the box from a corner as the visitors started brightly. They were rewarded when Zimmermann ran onto Bernard Tekpetey’s pass in behind and fired beyond Koen Casteels for his first goal of the season. Steffen blazed an effort over the bar when unchallenged at the other end, and in the first half the Wolves failed to test Florian Kastenmeier, who was standing in again for the injured USA international Zack Steffen.
The second half got off to a dramatic start with Wolfsburg centre-back Marin Pongracic shown a straight red for an elbow at a free-kick after a VAR review. The 10 men of Wolfsburg struck next, however, when Steffen ghosted in behind to head home an Admir Mehmedi cross. Düsseldorf's Erik Thommy had perhaps the best chance to snatch a winner for either side but he blasted over from close range after a diagonal run across the box to latch onto a cross. Rösler is still yet to win as a coach in the Bundesliga but the point does move Fortuna up to 16th and out of the automatic relegation positions ahead of Werder Bremen and Paderborn.
- Wolfsburg have still never lost against Düsseldorf across the top two divisions in Germany, winning five, drawing five and scoring at least once every time.
- Fortuna have failed to beat the Wolves in six Bundesliga encounters. It’s their longest run without ever winning against a team in the top flight, equalling their record against Hansa Rostock.
- Düsseldorf have now dropped 18 points from winning positions this season – only Augsburg have thrown away more (19).
- Zimmermann’s goal ended a run of 52 Bundesliga games without finding the back of the net. He did, though, score during the week in the DFB Cup.
- Tekpetey’s assist was his first in the Bundesliga, coming on his first start since Matchday 13.
- Pongracic’s dismissal was the first straight red for Wolfsburg since Maximilian Arnold in November 2017, also given by referee Tobias Stieler.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – William (Mbabu 27’), Knoche, Pongracic, Roussillon – Schlager, Guilavogui (c), Arnold – Steffen (Victor 74’), Ginczek (Weghorst 46’), Mehmedi
Unused subs: Pervan, Otavio, Brekalo, Klaus, Gerhardt, Brooks
Out: Camacho (ankle), Tisserand (thigh)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Fortuna: Kastenmeier – Ayhan (Zanka 40’), Hoffmann, Suttner – Zimmermann, Morales, Stöger, Berisha, Thommy (Pledl 74’) – Tekpetey (Ampomah 61’), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Rensing, Adams, Barkok, Gießelmann, Sobotta, Zimmer
Out: Bodzek (groin), Karaman (pneumonia), Kownacki (knee), Ofori (suspended), Skrzybski (hamstring), Steffen (knee)
Coach: Uwe Rösler