Summary

  • Wolfsburg beat ten-time winners Real Madrid 2-0.
  • Rodriguez and Arnold with the goals in the first half.
  • Second leg in Madrid next Tuesday.

Two first-half goals gave VfL Wolfsburg a memorable win over Real Madrid CF in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Volkswagen Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 Real Madrid CF

Goals: 1-0 Rodriguez (pen. 18'), 2-0 Arnold (25')

Real went into the game as hot favourites to progress, but Champions League quarter-final debutants Wolfsburg had not read the script. After Real's Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside, the Wolves seized control of proceedings, with Ricardo Rodriguez calmly slotting home the opening goal from the penalty spot following a foul on Andre Schürrle by Casemiro. The Wolves were in dreamland seven minutes later when Bruno Henrique and Julian Draxler combined to tee up Maximilian Arnold from close range, and while Diego Benaglio had the odd save to make, Dieter Hecking's men looked capable of adding to their lead every time they ventured forward.

Wolfsburg had to withstand prolonged spells of Real pressure in the second period, but continued to cause the visitors problems on the break. Schürrle was denied a clean run on goal by a back-tracking Sergio Ramos, before spurning a glorious opportunity to put the result out of sight following a strong run and intuitive pass from Henrique. It could have proved a costly miss when Ronaldo slipped in behind the Wolfsburg back four for the first time, but Benaglio hared off his line to make the block. Wolfsburg refused to take any risks in the latter stages, although substitute Max Kruse did draw a strong save from Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas a minute from normal time.

Man of the match

Henrique had only made five substitute appearances in the Bundesliga prior to the game, but the Brazilian forward did not look in the slightest bit out of place on his first Wolfsburg start and Champions League debut. The winter signing from Goias EC was a thorn in the side of Real left-back Marcelo and played his part in the build-up to both goals.

Talking point

Wolfsburg have flattered to deceive domestically, but have proved a different animal in Europe. Can they finish off the job in the Spanish capital on 12 April and book their place in the last four of the Champions League?

Match stats

  • Wolfsburg have won all five of their home games in this season's Champions League.
  • Prior to the match, Wolfsburg had scored as many goals in this season's competition as Ronaldo (13).
  • Rodriguez's penalty was the Switzerland international's first Champions League goal.
  • Arnold scored his first Champions League on his tenth appearance in the competition.
  • It was Real's first Champions League quarter-final defeat since 2004.

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) - Vieirinha, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Gustavo - Bruno Henrique (Träsch 79'), Arnold, Draxler (Schäfer 90+2') - Schürrle (Kruse 84')

Coach: Dieter Hecking

Real Madrid: Navas - Danilo, Ramos (c), Pepe, Marcelo - Modric (Isco 64'), Casemiro, Kroos (James 85') - Bale, Benzema (Jese 41'), Ronaldo

Coach: Zinedine Zidane