Wolfsburg (AP) – Exhausted, the Wolfsburg professionals clapped each other and, after a short break, went on a lap of honor in the arena, which was a little filled with 4519 spectators.
With the unnecessarily narrow 2: 1 (2: 0) win against Arminia Bielefeld, VfL ended their draw series of four games in a row in the Bundesliga.
“Certainly we would have imagined it differently in the first half,” commented Arminia coach Uwe Neuhaus. “I think Wolfsburg was already superior to us as a team, much more mature, much smarter.” The VfL victory is “definitely okay”.
His VfL colleague Oliver Glasner said: “Like all of us, I am very, very happy and happy about this first win of the season in the Bundesliga and the first home win in a long time.” But he complained: “Unfortunately, we failed to win the game in the first 75 minutes.”
Wout Weghorst (19th minute) and Maximilian Arnold (20th) had given Lower Saxony an early one-two lead. In the final phase, substitute Sven Schipplock once again briefly gave the guests hope with his connection goal (80th). Wolfsburg had previously failed to take advantage of numerous good scoring opportunities and failed to decide the game early.
After four draws at the start of the season, VfL now has seven points. Bielefeld, on the other hand, lost for the third time in a row and it will hardly have an easier time in the near future: In the next four games, Arminia will meet the top teams Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, among others.
VfL already seemed a size too big for East Westphalia for a long time. Wolfsburg was greedy from the start to win the first three points this season, went on early and put Arminia under pressure.
After Renato Steffen had carelessly missed a first big chance, a free kick variant led to success. Everyone expected a shot, but Arnold passed Weghorst in the penalty area, who had been lurking next to the wall. The Dutchman turned, had a free run and finished flat in the right corner – a stroke of genius! “We trained that yesterday in the final training session,” revealed the VfL coach: “Wout didn’t shoot six or seven balls into the goal.”
Just a minute later, Arnold added it himself. With strong pressing, the hosts captured the ball in Bielefeld’s penalty area, played the 26-year-old free, and it caused enthusiasm in the stands for the second time. “Oh, how nice it is,” said the fans in a good mood. No wonder: in the first 20 minutes, their VfL scored as many goals as they had in the entire league season.
And Bielefeld? Neuhaus had actually hoped for a more courageous appearance than in the 1: 4 against FC Bayern, but his players were overwhelmed against swirling Wolfsburg for a long time. They hardly ever came close to the opponent’s penalty area in a controlled manner.
That changed a little at the beginning of the second half, but VfL still had clear scoring chances. Arminia was still well served with the 0: 2. VfL’s inadequate exploitation of opportunities almost took revenge. Schipplock brought Bielefeld back into the game with a 2-1 draw, and when a deflected shot from Manuel Prietl hit the post, the Wolfsburg fans held their breath. In the end, it was just enough for the hosts.