Three encounters with UEFA Champions League participants in the space of ten days have forced VfL Wolfsburg to prove themselves worthy of playing at the top level, a point that was certainly made in their 2-1 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 11.
Great Dane to the fore
The victory represented a third straight league win, a feat last achieved by the Wolves eight months ago, which provided the perfect response to the midweek 3-1 defeat to FC Bayern München in the DFB Cup that sent the titleholders crashing out in the second round.
Beating Bayer saw Wolfsburg move above FC Schalke 04 and into third in the standings, the least of Dieter Hecking's aspirations this season. "It's like being on a rollercoaster," admitted Nicklas Bendtner, who was handed a rare start and opened the scoring in the 35th minute. "It was a very tough game, I was very delighted with the way we went about about everything, the way the team showed heart and commitment for 90 minutes."
Hecking explained after the game that he has always "maintained that during a run of difficult fixtures, we'll have to rotate accordingly", and on this occasion Bendtner was the beneficiary. "You know I've been a bit disappointed, everyone knows that," explained the Dane. "The fact of the matter is that if I don't play, I'm not as happy as when I do play. It's the same with every player. But this is a step in the right direction. A victory and a good performance."