VfL Wolfsburg reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever after beating Belgian side KAA Gent 1-0 (4-2 on aggregate) at home in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie on Tuesday evening.
Goals: 1-0 Schürrle (74')
Having earned a 3-2 lead from the first leg in Belgium, Wolfsburg were very much in the driving seat going into this match as the onus was on the visitors to score. Gent started well and had more of the ball early on but failed to seriously trouble Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal. As the half wore the hosts began to flex their muscles, with Max Kruse and Josuha Guilavogui both going close to breaking the deadlock.
Wolfsburg maintained their shape well in the second half and remained patient rather than going all out in search of the knockout blow. Spaces started to open up in the closing stages as Gent were forced to commit more bodies forward and Dieter Hecking's men took full advantage when Andre Schürrle tapped in from close range following an excellent run by Julian Draxler. The hosts subsequently controlled the game until the final whistle to book their place in the last eight.
Man of the match
This was a solid all-round team performance from Wolfsburg, but Draxler's moment of skill in skipping behind the Gent defence to tee up Schürrle was the crucial point of the game and the highlight of a fine individual display from the 22-year-old.
The Wolves have not been at their best in the Bundesliga this season but mature performances in Europe, this one included, mean they deserve their place as one of the continent's best eight teams.
- Christian Träsch had more touches (80) and completed more passes (46) than any other Wolfsburg player.
- The Wolves had 16 shots on goal compared to Gent's seven.
- As a team, Wolfsburg won over 55 per cent of all their tackles.
Wolfsburg: Casteels, Träsch, Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez – Guilavogui, Gustavo (c) – Arnold (Vieirinha 83'), Draxler (Caligiuri 78'), Schürrle (Schäfer 89') – Kruse
Gent: Sels – Rafinha (Foket 78'), Nielson, Gershon, Asare – Milicevic, Neto, Kums (c), Simon (Coulibaly 70') – Dejaegere, Matton (Saief 68')