Wout Weghorst scored his 49th Bundesliga goal and assisted two more as Wolfsburg returned to winning ways with a flawless 5-0 win over bottom club Schalke.
Despite having their nine-match unbeaten run ended last week at Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg began proceedings in a fearless manner. Ridle Baku was filling in at left-back with Paulo Otavio suspended, and most of the Wolves' attacking play came down the right or through the middle as a result. Weghorst had the game's first chance with his shot deflecting behind off Malick Thiaw, before Josuha Guilavogui headed in from the resulting corner. The offside flag was raised on the far side, however, the ball having gone in off Admir Mehmedi, who was in an offside position. Maximilian Arnold fired a shot over as Wolfsburg continued to stamp their authority on the game, but Schalke were defending well until a nightmare moment for the Royal Blues' defence opened the scoring. A pass played towards Mehmedi in the Schalke area was blocked by Thiaw into the path of Shkodran Mustafi, who sent a header back towards goal from close range intended for Frederik Rönnow. The Schalke goalkeeper was out of position, though, and the ball bounced into the net. Weghorst and Guilavogui fired wide before the break with Wolfsburg in a commanding position, despite not forcing a single save from Rönnow.
Wolfsburg all but sealed the points just six minutes after the restart. Baku was up the pitch having swapped positions with Yannick Gerhardt, and his slick pass played Weghorst in on goal to fire home across Rönnow. Baku's positional switch with Gerhardt helped Wolfsburg reap further rewards just seven minutes later as Weghorst stole the ball from Mustafi outside the Schalke area before sliding across for Baku to smash the ball past Rönnow. Despite being three goals down, Schalke continued to push as William - facing his parent club - forced Koen Casteels to make a fine save with a powerful drive from 20 yards. Schalke's slim hopes of mounting a comeback were dashed as Weghorst teed up Josip Breaklo with 30 minutes to play. American forward Matthew Hoppe came on from the bench on his 20th birthday, but was given no reason to celebrate by a merciless Wolfsburg side. Substitutes combined for the fifth as Jerome Roussillon's pass across goal was put home by Maximillian Philipp to punctuate a one-side win.
- Weghorst is now one goal shy of 50 in the Bundesliga, having made 91 appearances so far in the league for Wolfsburg. The Dutchman has scored five goals in six competitive meetings with Schalke and with 16 goals in 2020/21 has now already matched his tally for all of last season, and is one goal short of his record for a Bundesliga season (17).
- Baku scored his fifth goal of the season for Wolfsburg. In his 50 Bundesliga appearances for Mainz, he scored just three times.
- Wolfsburg are unbeaten in five competitive games against Schalke, winning the last four in a row.
- The Wolves are still unbeaten in 12 home league matches this season (W8, D4).
- Schalke have taken four points on the road this season. They haven't won on their travels in the Bundesliga since beating Bremen on Matchday 12 of last season (23 games).
- The Royal Blues' Norwegian midfielder Mikail Maden, 19, made his Bundesliga debut.
Watch: Weghorst: "The Champions League is our goal"
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Baku (Victor 72') - Guilavogui (c), Arnold (Roussillon 72') - Brekalo (Ginczek 80'), Mehmedi (Philipp 72'), Gerhardt - Weghorst (Bialek 84')
Unused subs: Pervan, Bruma, Siersleben
Out: Lacroix (suspended), Schlager (suspended), Steffen (ankle), Otavio (suspended)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Schalke: Rönnow - Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw - William, Serdar, Kolasinac (c), Calhanoglu (Hoppe 72') - Harit (Maden 85'), Schöpf (Stambouli 63') - Raman (Oczipka 72')
Unused subs: Langer, Mendyl, Mercan, Aydin, Bozdogan
Out: Bentaleb (groin), Boujellab (ankle), Fährmann (rib), Huntelaar (calf), Ludewig (foot), Mascarell (suspended), Nastasic (calf), Paciencia (knee), Sane (knee), Skrzybski (knee), Uth (thigh)
Coach: Dimitrios Grammozis
Watch: Mustafi: "We believe, otherwise we wouldn't play"