Wolfsburg’s Legendary 5-1 Win Over Bayern Munich

Wolfsburg aim to be the first team in 2013 to beat Bayern Munich when they host the league leaders on matchday 22.  It will be no easy feat though considering the fact that Bayern have dropped points only once on the road so far this season (1-1 vs. Nürnberg in the Hinrunde). No team in league history has collected as many points or taken as commanding a lead as Bayern have 21 games into the season.  Worse yet, Wolfsburg have won only two of their 10 home matches this season.

It’s an even greater challenge considering Wolfsburg have beaten Bayern Munich only once in their last 12 matches.  That one win though will forever live in the memory of Wolfsburg and German football fans.  The now legendary 5-1 win in the 2008/09 season epitomized Felix Magath’s title winning side and one of the league’s most brilliant attacking trio in Edin Dzeko, Grafite and Zvjezdan Misimovic.

Going into the game, Bayern and Wolfsburg were tied on points with the record champions ahead of Magath’s side on goal difference.  Even though Bayern weren’t at their best that season most people still expected them to win the title despite dark horses Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg impressing.  Wolfsburg’s win against Bayern would become a turning point in the season and a symbolic gesture that confirmed their legitimacy as title contenders.

Christian Gentner’s opener in the 44th minute was canceled out by Luca Toni just a minute later and the game looked fairly even for the first 45 minutes.  Few would have predicted what happened in the second half then.  As if possessed, Wolfsburg came out and outplayed Bayern in a manner few teams have in league history.  Through finely tuned and blistering counter attacks, Dzeko and Grafite (who became the deadliest duo in Bundesliga history that season) scored four goals in 12 minutes.

Grafite’s timeless goal

Grafite’s last and final goal of the game is still considered by many as one of the greats in Bundesliga history.  The Brazilian striker received the ball just outside the box before he brilliantly beat the entire Bayern backline to backheel the ball into the net. Christian Lell, Andreas Ottl, Philipp Lahm and Michael Rensing were all left in the dust as Wolfsburg’s paved their way to the title. 

To add insult to injury, Felix Magath substituted his goalkeeper with a minute to go as if to make a direct gesture to the club that formerly employed him and then let him go.  The win lifted Wolfsburg into first place and they never let go of it until the end of the season, recording further impressive wins against Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim, Borussia Dortmund and Hannover.

Years from now Wolfsburg supporters will still look back at this win as the peak of their club’s successful and historic season as an achievement that not many other clubs in the league can boast about.


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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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