VfL Wolfsburg booked their place in the UEFA Champions League last 16 for the first time ever after beating Manchester United FC 3-2 at home in their final Group B fixture.
Despite Wolfsburg’s aggressive start it was the visitors who went in front early on when Anthony Martial finished coolly from Juan Mata’s pass. Their lead was short-lived, however, as Naldo volleyed in superbly from Ricardo Rodriguez’s free-kick just minutes later. The Wolves continued to dominate and deservedly went ahead following an outstanding team move around the edge of the box which culminated in Julian Draxler teeing up Vieirinha for an easy tap-in.
The game flowed from end to end in the second half and after both teams missed promising chances, the Wolves looked to have thrown away the victory when Josuha Guilavogui headed into his own net. However, Dieter Hecking’s men fought back yet again and just moments later Naldo headed home a corner to restore Wolfsburg’s advantage and fire them into the last 16.
Man of the match
With the match poised at 1-1, a moment of individual brilliance from Draxler set the Wolves on course for the win. He danced past Bastian Schweinsteiger on the edge of penalty area before playing a neat one-two to set up Vieirinha’s goal and give the hosts the belief to continue attacking.
The result capped an historic night for Wolfsburg, who reached the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time ever. As an added bonus, the Wolves go through as Group B winners, meaning they should theoretically avoid a heavyweight side when the draw is made.
- Dante had more touches (68) than any other Wolfsburg player.
- As a team, Wolfsburg completed 79 per cent of their passes over the 90 minutes.
- Vieirinha won a whopping 76.92 per cent of his tackles.
- The Champions League last 16 draw takes place on Monday.
Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) – Träsch, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez (Schäfer 16’) – Guilavogui, Arnold – Vieirinha (Klose 78’), Draxler (Caligiuri 85’), Schürrle - Kruse
Man United: De Gea – Darmian (Borthwick-Jackson 44’), Smalling (c), Blind, Varela – Fellaini, Schweinsteiger (Carrick 69’) – Lindgard, Mata (Powell 69’), Depay – Martial