Andre Schürrle scored a hat-trick as VfL Wolfsburg thrashed Hannover 96 4-0 in the Lower Saxony derby.
After Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels was made to work by Hannover midfielder Kenan Karaman early on, it was virtually one-way traffic. Julian Draxler and Luiz Gustavo tested Hannover custodian Ron-Robert Zieler, before Schürrle bundled his way into the area and squeezed an effort in off the right-hand post after a crisp exchange with Draxler.
Hannover were overrun in the second half as Schürrle scored twice in the space of three minutes to complete his hat-trick. His third was a thing of real beauty - a deft touch on the chest followed by an unstoppable left-foot volley - and he should have added a fourth when he went clean through, only to dink wide. Draxler made no mistake moments later, however, capping only the Wolves’ second away win of the season with another delightful finish.
Man of the match
Who else but Schürrle? The Germany international put in his best performance in a Wolfsburg shirt, punctuated by his first-ever Bundesliga hat-trick.
Rock-bottom Hannover started the week five points adrift of outright safety, but it could get worse still for the Reds with fellow strugglers TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, SV Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt all in action on Wednesday night.
- Schürrle failed to score a single Bundesliga goal during the first half of the season, but has scored four since the turn of the year.
- With five Bundesliga goals in 2015/16, Draxler has already scored more times than in the last two seasons combined.
- Marcel Schäfer made his 244th Bundesliga appearance. He is the longest-serving Wolfsburg player in the current squad.
Hannover: Zieler - Sakai, Sane, Schulz (c), Sorg - Fossum, Hoffmann (Szalai 46'), Yamaguchi - Kiyotake - Karaman, Wolf (Klaus 66')
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Träsch, Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez - Guilavogui (Vieirinha 72'), Gustavo (c) - Draxler (Schäfer 81'), Arnold, Schürrle (Henrique 87')- Kruse