November 24, 2017

Bundesliga Match of the Week 11: VfL Wolfsburg vs Hertha BSC

Match: VfL Wolfsburg (Malli, Gomez, Origi) 3-3 Hertha BSC (Ibišević, Rekik, Selke)

Description:

In a game that can only be described as crazy, a six goal thriller took place at the Volkswagen Arena. A missed penalty, two disallowed goals, a match going down to the wire, Wolfsburg vs Hertha Berlin was the game to watch.

As always, the Bundesliga never fails to impress. Sitting in 14th and 11th respectively, Wolfsburg and Berlin were hoping to climb up the table. The away side put their attacking abilities on display immediately. Obtaining the ball in midfield, Berlin worked the ball forward down the down middle of the pitch. Finding Vedad Ibišević , Valentino Lazaro slotted a pass to the Bosnian international. Taking the ball into the box, the veteran striker made the most of his opportunity and put the ball past Koen Casteels –21 seconds after the match had kicked off !!!

An early lead for Hertha Berlin was beginning to write a story of the away side looking to come away as victors. Just moments into the game, it was the perfect start for the capital side. Looking to respond, Wolfsburg hit back on the attack. The home side came close when John Brooks hit the woodwork in the 5th minute. A flurry of attacks from Martin Schmidt’s side put Wolfsburg on the front foot. Hungry for a response, Wolfsburg soon found themselves with great opportunities to score. A missed penalty from Mario Gomez, and two goals disallowed, using VAR created a sense of doomed misfortune for the Wolves. But Wolfsburg finally found their breakthrough in the 41st minute when Yunus Malli nodded home after Divock Origi scooped a ball across the box to him. Finally, the home side were on the score sheet. Bringing it level, Wolfsburg immediately went hunting for their second goal. Three minutes after their breakthrough, Gomez made up for his penalty miss when he scored with the help of the woodwork. as his shot hit the woodwork, but rolled across the goalmouth to go in. Going into the break with the lead, Wolfsburg were hoping they could seal the game and end their winless streak.

The action continued in the second half. Down by one goal, it was clear that Hertha Belin needed to deal with the pack of wolves and go hunting for a goal. Pal Dardai’s side were successful hunters, as in the 53rd minute Karim Rekik produced a back flick header from a free kick delivered by Marvin Plattenhardt’s incisice left foot, to draw the game level. Both sides were fighting to take the upper hand and create opportunities.

With things levelled, the battle for supremacy continued, calling both keepers into action. . The Wolvese got the advantage when Origi slotted it scored at the hour, the ball coming off his midsection following a Daniel Didavi CK moments after Jarstein had parried a Didavi shot past the goalline.  Schmidt’s side were showing such resolve after such discouraging events early in the match. There was hope that his side would finally register a win after developing a winless streak. But with the football, everything isn’t so simple. Wolfsburg, minutes away from Schmidt’s first VfL win, saw their lead end suddenly in the 83rd minute when the talented Davie Selke put himself on the scoresheet. Coralling his own rebound and knocking it in.  For almost 25 minutes it appeared that Schimidt would get his first win in charge of Wolfsburg, but that wasn’t the case. Ending in a draw, the clash between Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin provided an entertaining six goal thriller, mixed in with the oddness of two early Wolfsburg goals denied by consultation with VAR and a Gomez PK missed.

Statistics:

VfL Wolfsburg:

  • 59% Possession
  • 3 Goals
  • 19 Shots
  • 50.5% Duels Won
  • 554 Passes (466 Short Passes, 66 Long Balls, 1 Through Ball, 21 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 5)
  • 85% Pass Accuracy
  • 731 Touches
  • 13 Chances Created
  • 21 Crosses
  • 13 Take Ons
  • 17 Interceptions
  • 9 Clearances
  • 7 Blocks

Hertha BSC:

  • 41% Possession
  • 3 Goals
  • 10 Shots
  • 49.5% Duels Won
  • 383 Passes (299 Short Passes, 74 Long Balls, 10 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 4)
  • 75% Pass Accuracy
  • 531 Touches
  • 8 Chances Created
  • 10 Crosses
  • 13 Take Ons
  • 11 Interceptions
  • 24 Clearances
  • 8 Blocks

Analysis:

VfL Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin put on a show at the Volkswagen Arena. A six goal thriller, ending in a draw, provided some high quality entertainment. Three goals coming in each half, both sides were hungry for three points. Since joining the club, Martin Schmidt has yet to record a win. His sides’ clash against Hertha Berlin added yet another draw to his record in the Bundesliga. Despite an intense game, both sides failed to come away with a win.

The intense nature of the game was on display immediately. Just 21 seconds into proceedings, Vedad Ibisevic put his side into the lead. Wolfsburg’s defense was left out of position when Hertha Berlin gained possession in midfield and quickly went on the attack. Attempting to close down and pressure Valentino Lazaro, John Brooks left a space for the away sides Bosnian forward to run into. Slotting a pass through to Ibišević , Lazaro put his teammate in the perfect position to take the ball into the box and ultimately score for the away side. A mix of poor play on Wolfsburg part in not tracking Ibišević , and Hertha Berlin’s ability to work the ball into space led to the early goal.

 

An active start to the game foreshadowed the way the match played out. Passing well around the back, Wolfsburg looked for a response. The  host’s ability to work the ball forward and build up the play can especially be seen in Yunus Malli’s disallowed goal in the 25th minute. Using the width of the pitch and passing in order to create space allowed for Wolfsburg to be effective going forward. Another disallowed goal and a missed penalty added to the home side’s frustration. Winning essential battles on the pitch in passing and possession resulted in total of 8 shots, 4 chances created in the time before Wolfsburg scored in 41st minute. Hitting the wood work in the 5th minute via Brooks’ attempted and another in 20th minute via Mario Gomez, surely the home side would eventually get on the score sheet. Wolfsburg’s efforts were eventually in the 41st minute when Malli drew it level. Building it up in midfield and using the width of the pitch, Wolfsburg used Marcel Tisserand on the left to swing in a cross into the box. Finding the head of a Hertha Berlin player, the ball was poorly cleared, leaving Divock Origi to cross the ball to Malli who was left in acres of space. Left unmarked, the Turkish international was able to head the ball into the back of the net. Wolfsburg efforts finally paid off.

 

Hunting in a pack, the Wolves put themselves on the scoresheet. Not satisfied with the result, Wolfsburg went hunting some more. Three minutes after Malli’s goal, Gomez steeped up to the plate and corrected his earlier penalty miss by putting his side into the lead. Receiving a long ball from Brooks, Daniel Didavi was in prime position in the opposing sides half. With Gomez running into the middle of the pitch and Karim Rekik sitting high and trying to close down Didavi, Gomez was left through on goal after receiving a pass on the run from Didavi. Slotting it past Rune Jarstein, Gomez got the help of the woodwork when the ball went in via both posts.

 

Deservedly in the lead going into half time, Wolfsburg were putting on a display that put three points on the horizon. A solid display of 67.3% possession, 11 shots, 86% pass accuracy and 7 chances created, the home side could have been at an even better advantage at half time. Martin Schmidt would most likely be happy with his side’s performance and hope they can use this to press on in the second half and seal the game. Wolfsburg performance and battle in possession and passing can be seen the passing map provided by Squawka.

 

The first half was full of action, but the second half would provide even more to satisfy the fans and viewers. Another three goals brought an intense battle between both sides. It didn’t take long for action to ensue. Hertha Berlin took the advantage only eight minutes into the second half. Receiving a free kick outside the box, Marvin Plattenhardt swung the ball into the box, finding the head of Karim Rekik. Catching Wolfsburg’s defenders on the run, Rekik was able to jump up with a beautifully placed header into the top right corner of the net. Bringing the game level, Hertha Berlin were here to fight.

 

A back and forth affair was ensuing. Either side had a response to each other’s actions. Looking for a response themselves, Wolfsburg upped the intensity of the game, resulting in the home side creating more opportunities. Initially the start of the second half saw Hertha Berlin take the upper hand, especially in terms of passing. As time progressed, Wolfsburg started to increase their passing efficiency. Working the ball forward with accurate passing seems simple enough, but it can be difficult to execute. The home side sought to press on in hope to taking the lead again. Receiving a corner after Didavi’s attempt was saved by Jarstein, Didavi whipped in a delivery into the box. Battling in the box, Origi and Plattenhardt were left trying to take advantage when the ball came into the box. Using his ability to quickly make moves, Origi broke away from Plattenhardt when the ball was delivered into the box. Receiving the ball, the Belgian striker was able to chest the ball into the net. A simple move from Origi proved effective.

 

Taking the advantage, Wolfsburg were yet again in a position to take the three points. Origi’s goal brought a much-needed response and propelled the home side to up their game in the second half. The last 30 minutes of the game started to somewhat favour Hertha Berlin, especially in shots and chances created. However, the away side’s slightly let them down with errors being made. Both keepers were called into action during the second half, with Casteels and Jarstein keeping their side going. The game of football continuously proves how you should never give up and play to the whistle. Hertha Berlin did just that. Down by one goal since Origi’s goal in the 60th minute, the away side battle continuously until they got a result. Berlin’s tenacity paid off in the 83rd minute. Building up with short and accurate passing on the run, the away side were able to draw out the Wolfsburg players and look to create space and avenues of attack. They did just that when Selke drew the game level. A one-two between Ibisevic and Per elbred set up the Norwegian midfielder perfectly into space that he could run into. Running off the defender, Selke was in prime position to receive the pass from Skjelbred. Receiving the ball in box, Selke’s initial attempted was saved by Casteels, but the former Werder/Leipzig man was able to score the rebound to bring it level. Hertha Berlin’s ability to pass accurately and create space was on full display with their third goal of the game.

 

Ending as a six goal thriller, VfL Wolfsburg vs Hertha Berlin was full of action. Three goals in each half, both sides had a response for each other. Despite having more shots and creating more chances than Berlin, Wolfsburg register yet another draw in the Bundesliga. Martin Schmidt will be hoping he can break his draw streak at Wolfsburg and finally get his first three points in charge of the wolves.

Honourable Mention:

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 FC Bayern München

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From Yorkshire, Callum fell for the beautiful game at an early age. The Bundesliga first caught his attention in 2014. Since then, his admiration and interest for the Bundesliga has developed greatly. Falling in love with what the Bundesliga and Germany has to offer was easy. So Callum, decided to put his passion into words. You can find him on Twitter @CallumSeniuk

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