Wolfsburg - VfL Wolfsburg bounced back from last weekend's disappointing defeat to FC Augsburg with a routine 3-0 win over SC Freiburg.
The result never looked in doubt once Kevin De Bruyne had given the Wolves a first-half lead, with further strikes from Ricardo Rodriguez and substitute Maximilian Arnold doing luckless Freiburg no favours whatsoever at the foot of the standings.
There was no sign of any fatigue on Wolfsburg's part following Thursday’s 3-1 win over FC Internazionale Milano in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. Freiburg goalkeeper Roman Bürki was called on to deny Josuha Guilavogui as early as the eighth minute, before Bas Dost prodded over from a tight angle following a probing Vieirinha run down the right-hand side.
Camped inside their own half, the visitors succumbed to the relentless pressure in the 18th minute. Marc Torrejon missed his clearance and the ball fell to De Bruyne, who kept his cool from 13 yards to fire Wolfsburg into a deserved lead with his sixth league goal since the turn of the year and ninth of the campaign. The Belgian went close to a second, but his daisy-cutter bobbled just wide of the upright.
Vieirinha on the prowl
Bürki had barely been given time to catch a breath when a rare mistake almost let in Dost. Freiburg had been second best to every ball, before a fierce rising drive from Christian Günter at last gave Diego Benaglio something to think about between the Wolfsburg posts. The Swiss stopper was at fault from the ensuing corner, but Mike Frantz arrived a fraction too late at the far post as the ball trickled out of play.
Wolfsburg responded to that momentary lapse through former Freiburg man Daniel Caligiuri, who brought a low save out of Bürki. Dost was mere centimetres from getting a toe to the follow-up, and he wasn't far away early in the second half either following another driving run and shot from Vieirinha. Felix Klaus set off on a bulldozing run of his own moments later, but was unable to keep his shot down.
Rodriguez on the spot
The chances were coming thick and fast as Vieirinha tickled the side netting from 18 yards. A De Bruyne free kick caused panic in the Freiburg area, but Timm Klose was unable to make the telling touch. The Bundesliga's bottom club threatened only sporadically thereafter, with Oliver Sorg testing Benaglio from range and Admir Mehmedi flashing wide from the edge of the box.
Wolfsburg put the contest to bed in the 78th minute when Bürki was adjudged to have fouled the rampaging De Bruyne in the box and 2014 Swiss Footballer of the Year Rodriguez sent his fellow countryman the wrong way from 12 yards, before De Bruyne put the Wolves' third on a plate for Arnold with his 16th assist of the campaign.
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