Frankfurt - Given that VfL Wolfsburg were the Bundesliga’s best home team last season - and Eintracht Frankfurt the worst away side - it was no great surprise that the Wolves won 2-1 when the two met at the Volkswagen Arena on Matchday 1.
Nevertheless, the result was not a true reflection of the game itself, as the visitors’ sharp, aggressive style put the 2014/15 runners-up on the back foot.
“We were surprised by Frankfurt,” said Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose. “We thought we’d control the game from the off but the opposite happened and they seized the initiative. I’m glad we didn’t concede any more goals in the second half.”
Despite their early dominance, however, Wolfsburg went in front with two quickfire goals in the 13th and 17th minutes. Stefan Reinartz reduced the deficit just two minutes later, but the Eagles were unable to break through again.
“We should have taken the lead at the start because we had two really good chances,” said Frankfurt coach Armin Veh, who named an attacking line-up. “We didn’t make the most of them and we lost the match during our strongest period of the game.”
The 54-year-old included four new signings in his starting XI, among them goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who he singled out for praise: “He had a good game and played well. We didn’t give them many chances and there was nothing he could do about either of their goals.”
More to come
The performances of the other newcomers were also encouraging. David Abraham formed a solid partnership with Carlos Zambrano at centre-back and marshalled the Wolfsburg attackers well; Luc Castaignos’ pace and movement showed exactly why he was recruited, even if he was unable to score, and Reinartz was a steadying hand in midfield.
“I’d rather have taken a point from the game than scored,” said the 26-year-old after the final whistle. “We played well but we’ve still got plenty of room for improvement.” The Eagles will get the chance to show their progress on Saturday, when they welcome FC Augsburg to the Commerzbank Arena.