VfL Wolfsburg boosted their chances of securing European football again next season thanks to a 2-1 victory at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday afternoon.
As was to be expected from two UEFA Champions League participants, this match was a high-quality encounter and a gripping spectacle right from the start. After a few early half-chances at either end, the Wolves went ahead through a quickfire double from Julian Draxler and former Gladbach striker Max Kruse. The visitors pulled one back shortly afterwards when Raffael rifled in from a tight angle, but there were no further goals in an open, entertaining first period.
Gladbach enjoyed more possession after the break as they turned the screw in search of an equaliser, but they struggled to get behind the Wolfsburg backline. A Lars Stindl effort from the edge of the box that drew a fine save from Koen Casteels was as close as they came to scoring as the Wolves expertly nullified Gladbach’s attack to hold on to the three points.
Man of the match
Maximilian Arnold was outstanding in midfield for the hosts, constantly breaking up Gladbach attacks and completing 88 per cent of his passes. He crowned a fine display by providing two assists as well.
Prior to this game Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking spoke of the importance of his side going on a run in order to reignite their push for European football next season. This win, their second in a row, will give them confidence going into the business end of the campaign.
- Raffael scored with Gladbach’s first shot on goal, taking his tally for the season to 12.
- Maximilian Arnold provided the assists for Wolfsburg’s first two goals.
- Draxler found the net for a second successive Bundesliga game – the first time he has done so for the Wolves.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Vieirinha (Träsch 46’), Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez – Guilavogui, Gustavo (c), Arnold – Schürrle (Schäfer 83’), Draxler (Caligiuri 73’), Kruse
Gladbach: Sommer – Elvedi, Christensen, Nordtveit – Johnson (Hofmann 80’), Dahoud (Herrmann 68’), Xhaka (c), Hinteregger – Hazard (Hrgota 76’), Stindl, Raffael