Manchester - VfL Wolfsburg suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Premier League leaders Manchester United in UEFA Champions League group B on Wednesday.
MANCHESTER UNITED FC 2-1 VFL WOLFSBURG
Goals: 0-1 Caligiuri (4’), 1-1 Mata PK (34’), 2-1 Smalling (53')
Coming into the contest on the back of 1-0 home win over PFC CSKA Moskva on Matchday 1, Wolfsburg got off to a dream start. Daniel Caligiuri started a brilliantly simple move on the right hand-side of the United area, before collecting Max Kruse’s expertly weighted first-time pass and firing inside David de Gea’s near post. Dante cleared from Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney fired over as the home side turned the screw, but Louis van Gaal’s men were not to be denied as Mata tucked away a 34th-minute penalty after Caligiuri had handled in the box.
Wolfsburg started the second half brightly, with Bas Dost almost supplying the finishing touch to another fine piece of play involving the effervescent Kruse. The Red Devils continued to give as good as they got, however, and went one better in the 53rd minute as Mata turned provider for Chris Smalling to fire his side ahead for the first time. Andre Schürrle dragged wide and Ricardo Rodriguez went close with a late free kick, but Wolfsburg were unable to find the equaliser their valiant efforts deserved.
Man of the match
Sitting in the pocket behind Dost, Kruse caused the Manchester United defence all sorts of problems. The 27-year-old Germany international has yet to get his name on the scoresheet since joining Wolfsburg from Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer, but as he showed with his assist for Caligiuri's opener, he is so much more than just a goalscorer.
Despite the defeat, Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking will have been delighted with how well his signature attacking football translates onto the European stage.
- Only Memphis Depay had more shots on goal (five) than Wolfsburg goalscorer Caligiuri.
- With CSKA winning 3-2 at home to PSV Eindhoven in the group’s other game, all four sides are now level on three points after two matches.
Manchester United: De Gea - Valencia (Young 46'), Smalling, Blind, Darmian - Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Jones 72') - Mata, Rooney, Memphis (Pereira 62') - Martial
Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Träsch, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Arnold (Schürrle 69') - Caligiuri, Kruse, Draxler - Dost (Bendtner 69')