It is 1 A.D (1st match after De Bruyne) and Wolfsburg look like they are going to cope just fine without their talismanic attacker based on tonight’s 3-0 win over Schalke.
With all the pre-match talk about the imminent transfer of Kevin De Bruyne, Wolfsburg sent out a clear message that life goes on with a win that while emphatic on paper, was a little tough on a plucky Schalke side. A first-half goal from Bas Dost was added to in the second 45 minutes with goal from Ricardo Rodriguez (penalty) and Timm Klose.
The big (or rather huge) team news was the absence of both Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic from the Wolfsburg match day squad only heightening transfer speculation over the duo. Josh Guilavogui and Daniel Caligiuri came in.
In contrast to the home side Schalke did call upon Julian Draxler, but Franco Di Santo dropped to the bench with Andre Breitenreiter going with just one striker. Sead Kolasinac came into the back four
Wolfsburg enjoyed some good early dominance of possession and created the first real chance of the game when Bas Dost glanced a header wide following a precise free-kick delivery from Rodriguez ten minutes in.
The home side were enjoying the upper hand and were rewarded in the 17th minute with the opening goal. A good series of passing ended with Christian Träsch delivering a peach of a cross for Dost to stroke home. Just who Joel Matip and Roman Neustädter were marking is a mystery.
Leroy Sané had the visitors’ best effort when he saw his effort blocked following good assist play from Julian Draxler. It was a good response from the Königsblauen with Sané particularly impressive. Another chance went begging when Huntelaar failed to connect properly with a square ball from Sascha Riether.
Schalke began the second period on the front foot and Geis flashed an effort narrowly wide, but with the game getting livelier at both ends, it was Wolfsburg who scored the all-important second goal.
Following a corner, Luiz Gustavo got on the ball only to be clearly fouled by Kolasinac. No doubt over the spot-kick decision and it was Ricardo Rodriguez, who stepped up to keep his cool and convert from 12 yards.
2-0 quickly became 3-0 for Dieter Hecking’s Wölfe with another centre-back getting in on the scoring act. Rodriguez was the provider this time with a cross to the near post, where Timm Klose was unmarked and allowed to nod past Ralf Fährmann.
The three goal deficit was a little harsh on Schalke and they looked to hit back, but Huntelaar headed wide. The match was clearly decided and while harsh on Schalke, it was Dieter Hecking’s troops that left with an important win and the home fans were appeased a little that the loss of De Bruyne may sidetrack their title ambitions.
1-0 Dost (17), 2-0 Rodriguez (59) 3-0 Klose (61)
Wolfsburg: Casteels, Träsch, Naldo, Klose, Rodriguez, Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo, Vierinha, Kruse (Arnold 87), Caligiuri (Schürrle 76), Dost (Bendtner 79)
Schalke: Fährmann, Riether, Matip, Neustädter, Kolasinac, Geis, Aogo, Choupo-Moting (Di Santo 61), Draxler (Meyer 73), Sané (Goretzka 71), Huntelaar
Latest posts by Mathew Burt (see all)
- The Guido Burgstaller dichotomy - October 13, 2019
- Five new inductees to the Hall of Fame of German football - October 13, 2019
- Transfer time travel: How much would the Bayern Munich legends cost today? - October 12, 2019