John Brooks opened the scoring, before Daniel Ginczek stepped off the bench to seal a dramatic win for Wolfsburg in an eventful encounter with ten-man Schalke at the Volkswagen Arena.
Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke
Goals: 1-0 Brooks (33'), 1-1 Bentaleb (pen. 85'), 2-1 Ginczek (90+4')
Red cards: Nastasic (65')
USA international Weston McKennie started in the Schalke midfield, but it was compatriot Brooks who stole the headlines in the first half. The Royal Blues had been comfortably second best, with William's direct free-kick drawing a flying save from Ralf Fährmann before Wolfsburg went ahead. Maximilian Arnold's venomous corner found defender Brooks completely unmarked at the back post, and the American made no mistake with his header. The goal sparked an immediate response from the visitors, but summer signing Mark Uth's headed attempt from Abdul Rahman Baba's cross was straight at Koen Casteels.
Wolfsburg newcomer Wout Weghorst had a fantastic opportunity to double the hosts' lead early in the second half, but the Dutchman shanked his effort well wide when through on goal. Schalke just couldn't get into the contest, and it got worse for the visitors when Matija Nastasic was sent off for dangerous play following consultation with Video-Assist. Weghorst saw red for a push on Guido Burgstaller minutes later, only for match referee Patrick Ittrich to overturn the decision upon review. Schalke equalised through substitute Nabil Bentaleb's late penalty, awarded following a dangerous challenge by Brooks on Breel Embolo, but there was to be one final twist in the tale as Ginczek - on in place of Weghorst - struck an injury-time winner.
- Ginczek was making his home Bundesliga debut after joining Wolfsburg from VfB Stuttgart in the summer.Brooks' opener was his seventh Bundesliga goal. The former Hertha Berlin defender was making his 100th Bundesliga appearance.All four of Brooks' last four Bundesliga goals have been headers from corners.Former Augsburg defender Baba, on loan at Schalke from English Premier League club Chelsea, was making his first Bundesliga appearance since 20 December 2016.The Royal Blues have never beaten the Wolves after conceding the opening goal (three draws, eight defeats).There has been at least one goal in the last 256 Bundesliga matches between these two clubs.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Arnold, Guilavogui (c) (Gerhardt 46'), Camacho – Steffen, Weghorst (Ginczek 74'), Brekalo (Mehmedi 86')
Unused subs: Pervan, Verhaegh, Malli, Uduokhai
Absentees: Klaus (stomach), Azzaoui (knee), Jung (muscle), Osimhen (shoulder), Tisserand (hamstring)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Schalke: Fährmann (c) – Sane, Naldo, Nastasic – Caligiuri, Serdar (Bentaleb 83'), McKennie, Baba Rahman – Harit (Embolo 58'), Burgstaller, Uth
Unused subs: Nübel, Schöpf, Skrzybski, Di Santo, Teuchert
Absentees: Mascarell (thigh), Oczipka (groin)
Coach: Domenico Tedesco
Watch: Weston McKennie looks to the positives after Schalke's Matchday 1 defeat