Both sides had chances to take the lead in an evenly-balanced first half, but it was Frankfurt who eventually made the breakthrough just before the hour-mark through Stefan Aigner. Bas Dost had a goal ruled out for offside, but De Bruyne slotted home two minutes from time to earn the Wolves a deserved share of the spoils.
Eagles quick out of the blocks
With deadline-day signing Andre Schürrle left out of the matchday squad, Dieter Hecking named the same eleven that beat FC Bayern München so convincingly on Friday evening. It was Frankfurt, however, who started the brighter of the two teams at the Commerzbank Arena. After the Bundesliga’s leading scorer Alexander Meier had headed into the arms of Diego Benaglio inside five minutes, the Wolves’ custodian did well to prevent Takashi Inui from getting his shot away.
Wolfsburg began to grow into the game as the half progressed, though, and went close to taking the lead against the run of play when Bas Dost sent a half-volley just wide of Kevin Trapp’s goal. Carlos Zambrano, making his first appearance since Matchday 7, came to Frankfurt’s rescue moments later to deny Ivan Perisic from inside the penalty area.
Inui the provider
The teams continued to trade blows and Benaglio was forced to palm a stinging Meier effort out for a corner, which the visitors managed to clear. Having failed to find the net in Frankfurt’s loss to SC Freiburg at the weekend, Meier seemed eager to make amends against the Wolves, but failed to steer a 37th-minute effort on target after chesting down David Kinsombi’s cross-field pass with his first touch. As it was, the linesman’s offside flag spared the striker’s blushes.
The frenetic nature of the game continued after half-time, with Zambrano again getting his body in the way of Kevin De Bruyne’s goal-bound effort eight minutes into the second half. Back came Frankfurt though and after Inui had outfoxed Luiz Gustavo in midfield, the Japanese winger sent an eye-of-the-needle pass to Aigner, who calmly sidefooted past Benaglio to give Frankfurt the lead.
De Bruyne rescues Wolves
The Eagles nearly doubled their advantage soon after breaking the deadlock. The influential Inui first fired high over the crossbar from Aigner’s low pass, before Marco Russ was denied by a combination of Benaglio and Ricardo Rodriguez, who acrobatically cleared the defender’s effort off the goalline.
Wolfsburg upped the tempo in search of an equaliser and Dost had the ball in the net after 66 minutes, but the Dutchman’s goal was ruled out for offside. The 25-year-old then sent a firm header over Trapp’s crossbar, before De Bruyne came to the Wolves’ rescue two minutes from time with a smart finish from Marcel Schäfer’s cross.
Line-ups and statistics
Check out one of the many strings on Ricardo Rodriguez's bow as he helped Wolfsburg out at the back in this video, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel .