VfL Wolfsburg arrested a run of seven league games without a win with a comfortable 2-0 victory over FC Ingolstadt 04.
Chances were few and far between in the opening stages at the Volkswagen Arena as both teams cancelled each other out. The game gradually opened up as the first half wore on, however, and when Daniel Caligiuri found Julian Draxler with a teasing left-wing cross just before the half-hour mark, the former FC Schalke 04 man was left with the easy task of slotting the ball into a gaping net. Sensing blood, the Wolves continued to push forward and doubled their lead when Robin Knoche lashed the ball past Ramazan Özcan after Ingolstadt had failed to clear a corner.
The visitors looked a beaten team at the end of the first half, but Ralf Hasenhüttl’s side emerged from the break with renewed vigour. Pinning the hosts back inside their own half, Die Schanzer almost reduced the arrears when Marvin Matip rose highest to head Pascal Groß’s corner towards goal, but Koen Casteels produced a marvellous one-handed stop to clear the danger. Ingolstadt failed to make their pressure count, though, as the Wolves held on to claim a morale-boosting three points.
Man of the match
Draxler was at the heart of Wolfsburg’s most fluid attacking moves - particularly in the first half - and fully deserved his fourth goal of the campaign.
This comfortable victory will go some way to easing the pressure on Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking, whose side had picked up just three points from their last seven league encounters prior to Matchday 21. The win lifts the Wolves to within just three points of fifth-placed FC Schalke 04 and five behind fourth-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen, putting them right back in the hunt for a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
- Wolfsburg have now scored in 41 consecutive home league matches, equalling their club record set between 2008 and 2010.
- Draxler has netted more goals this season (four) than in the previous two campaigns put together.
- Ingolstadt registered 11 shots at goal to Wolfsburg’s eight, but failed to find the net at the Volkswagen Arena.
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Jung, Naldo (c), Knoche, Schäfer – Träsch (Arnold 76'), Gustavo – Vieirinha ( Schürrle 69'), Draxler (Putaro 89'), Caligiuri - Kruse
Ingolstadt: Özcan - da Costa, M. Matip (c), Hübner, Bauer - Roger - Groß, Christiansen (Cohen 46') – Hartmann (Morales 81'), Lezcano, Leckie (Multhaup 22')