Patrick Wimmer produced a goal and an assist and Jonas Wind hit a brace as Wolfsburg overpowered high-flying Freiburg 6-0 on Matchday 16.
Wolfsburg 6-0 Freiburg
Goals: 1-0 Wimmer 2' (assist: Gerhardt), 2-0 Wind 28' (assist: Wimmer), 3-0 Wind 37' (assist: van de Ven), 4-0 Gerhardt 56' (assist: F. Nmecha), 5-0 Baku 80' (assist: Paredes), 6-0 Waldschmidt (pen. 90'+4)
Wolfsburg went into the winter break unbeaten since mid-September and having won each of their last four games prior to the World Cup – and they carried on right where they had left off. The match was only a few seconds old when Yannick Gerhardt received Wind's knock-down to play a brilliant first-time ball into the path of Wimmer, who darted into the box as he held off Christian Günter to slot into the net. Freiburg needed a while to recover their composure, but went close to equalising when they did, with Ritsu Doan's goal-bound shot from the edge of the box deflected over for a corner, from which Koen Casteels produced a superb reflex save to thwart Nicolas Höfler from close range. Nevertheless, it was the home side that scored next when Wind headed in Wimmer's stunning flick with the outside of his boot. The Dane added another a short while later when he prodded in Micky van de Ven's cross from the left to give the Wolves a comfortable lead at the break.
Any hopes that Freiburg might have had of mounting a comeback were soon quashed in the second half. After the visitors lost possession following a wayward throw-in, the Wolves pounced as Wind flicked the ball to Felix Nmecha, who spied the unmarked Gerhardt to his left. The midfielder made no mistake from close range, adding insult to injury by slotting the ball through Mark Flekken's legs. Freiburg, missing the creative influence of the absent Vincenzo Grifo, never looked like getting back into the game after that and Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac could afford to take off Wind and Nmecha with an eye on Tuesday's trip to Hertha Berlin. The hosts continued to search for goals, though, and Flekken had to be alert to keep out a trademark Maximilian Arnold thunderbolt from distance. There was nothing he could do about Wolfsburg's fifth goal, as Ridle Baku ghosted into the box to connect with a Kevin Paredes cross from the left. Luca Waldschmidt's late penalty put the seal on a statement victory for Wolfsburg, and an afternoon to forget for the visitors.
- Wimmer's goal was his second for Wolfsburg, and first on home turf at the Volkswagen Arena.
- His strike inside the first minute was also the earliest Wolfsburg goal for almost five years.
- Gerhardt's assist was his first in 2022/23.
- The midfielder now has four league goals this term, double his previous personal best in a single season.
- Wind now has three Bundesliga goals in the current campaign and eight overall, but scored with his head for the first time.
- Freiburg conceded three goals in one half for the first time in 2022/23.
Watch: Wind: "6-0 win a perfect start to the year"
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Baku, Bornauw, van de Ven, Otavio (Lacroix 71') - F. Nmecha (Svanberg 71'), Arnold (c), Gerhardt - Wimmer (Waldschmidt 78'), Wind (Marmoush 68), Kaminski (Paredes 68')
Unused subs: Pervan, Fischer, Guilavogui, Franjic
Out: L. Nmecha (knee)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Freiburg: Flekken - Sildillia, Ginter, Gulde (Lienhart 57'), Günter (c) - Eggestein (Keitel 90'), Höfler - Doan, Kyereh (Weißhaupt 71'), Jeong (Höler 57') - Gregoritsch (Petersen 71')
Unused subs: Uphoff, Schmid, Kübler, Wagner
Out: Grifo (ill), Sallai (muscular)
Coach: Christian Streich
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