Score: Wolfsburg 1 Frankfurt 1FT
Following yet another victory, Wolfsburg returned home as they remain at the top of the line looking to only build on that. On Sunday afternoon at the Volkswagen Arena in the burg, they hosted Frankfurt, who continue to struggle this season. Last season these matchups turned out to be some of the most exciting games of the season. Wolfsburg and Frankfurt both were fighting for Champions League qualification last year, with Wolfsburg ultimately getting it in the end. Frankfurt lost Andre Silva and never fully recovered. It turned out to be a tight and exciting battle on a Sunday night in Wolfsburg. The game was up for grabs for both teams. Wolfsburg was more impressive in terms of the way they played and was looking to break down a couple really struggling this season. However, Frankfurt seems like the first time this season. Frankfurt, we’re up for it; their attacking style of football seems to be effective at times. Former Wolfsburg manager Oliver Glasener returned home with his Frankfurt side that was in desperation for points. Wolfsburg, despite having the best defense in the league, having only conceded one goal this season, and it was from the penalty spot. It was going to take something extraordinary for that to change; however, Frankfurt had their opportunity as Lammers hit an absolute rocket from outside the box, giving Wolfsburg no chance as Frankfurt took a surprising 1-0 lead. Wolfsburg responded, continuing to attack the opposition as the momentum was only building. Wolfsburg retained their form and looked like a much stronger team. We were playing together and were making a significant dent; it felt like it was only going to be a matter of time. Wout Weghorst had a beautiful opportunity that was wasted that could have changed the result. However, his moment would come in a very team-oriented goal wout Weghorst was in the right place to squeeze a strike in a tiny window to get the equalizer. Wolfsburg continued to push forward and look for that winning goal; it looked like it had arrived when he scored again in stoppage time, but unfortunately, it was called offsides in what was a controversial decision. Wolfsburg’s perfect run comes to an end as Frankfurt, and Wolfsburg split points on Sunday night. Wolfsburg slips down to second, sitting just one point behind the top of the table, while Frankfurt gets a critical point as they look to escape the danger zone of the Bundesliga.
As always, Marco van Bommel set up his team out of the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. In goal would be the Belgium International Konan Casteels. At left-back would be the versatile Kevin mbabu, beside him would be the center-back partnership of Maxine LaCroix and Sebastian Bornauw, then at right-back would be Yannick gerhardt. The defensive Midfield pairing would remain the same as their draw in the Champions League with Max Arnold alongside Josh Guilavogui in central Midfield would be Lukebakio with Waldschmidt on the right and Renato Steffen on the left. Then upfront as Wolfsburg Central Striker would be the Dutchman wout Weghorst.
After preparations and predictions, the match was underway at the Volkswagen Arena. Wolfsburg set the pace early with an early chance right off the bat. Joshua guilavogui putting his head through a brilliant cross from Max Arnold, but the connection tipped over. Wolfsburg looked strong in the early stages of this game, and not long after, Kevin mbabu came close after striking threw a ball setup by Waldschmidt. There was a little back and forth, but Frankfurt did not seem to have things under control, and it seemed like Wolfsburg had the game in their favor as far as the match was going. Frankfurt needed individual Brilliance to break down a Wolfsburg defense that has shut out practically everyone. Wout Weghorst nearly scores coming off a corner, but his strike would hit off the bar in what was an excellent chance for Wolfsburg. Frankfurt started to get into the game a little more as the match progressed. Wolfsburg’s style of defensive football feeds into the attack, but when they are pushing forward, they are extremely dangerous, but the exciting thing about the way they play is they have the luxury to sit back and control. Frankfurt tried to get things going as Filip Kostic Center cross into Sam Lammers from inside as he struck on goal but Konan Casteels made the safe showing a great reaction and reflexes. Late into the first half, it looked like Wolfsburg was going to score through Sebastian Bornauw as his header coming from a corner forced Kevin Trapp into making a fantastic save. However, although the game seem to be very much in Wolfsburg’s control, Frankfurt had a moment of Brilliance in the 38th minute Sam Lammers hit a missile into the top corner to give Frankfurt a surprising 1-0 lead. In the closing moments of the first half, wout Weghorst came close from a strike from the left side, and then Renato Steffen connected on a header and the closing moments of the first half. Still, you miss the target as the first half ended with Frankfurt holding a surprising 1-0 lead thanks to Sam Lammers.
Wolfsburg was the better team in the first half, but Mark Van Bommel wanted to make a slight adjustment as Wolfsburg went to the bench to deploy Lucas nmecha to give Wolfsburg another dimension. Frankfurt, who had some confidence started growing into the game. Martin hinterberg attempted to catch Konan Casteels off guard, hitting a strike from outside this area code ranging from about 40 yards but didn’t have the power and accuracy ratio as the Wolfsburg goalkeeper remains untested. Wolfsburg was starting to get the momentum back, and before not too long, Frankfurt was dealing with constant pressure regularly. Wolfsburg upped the intensity especially using Kevin mbabu showing his explosive nature. A little while later wout Weghorst missed a golden opportunity. A beautiful run by Kevin mbabu eventually laid off Inside the Box as lukebakio sent a perfect cross right in the sight of the Dutchman; all he needed to do was connect, but he scuffed the shot wout Weghorst was enraged at himself as that was a perfect opportunity to get Wolfsburg back in the game then in the second half frankly they were dominating. It would be a critical 15 minutes. Frankfurt could barely get the ball out of their own half as they were hounded by a solid Wolfsburg team that has the players to make them pay it anytime. Finally, the moment would arrive in the 70th minute in what was one of the most eloquently crafted goals of the season. Wolfsburg short-passing right outside the box largely orchestrated by Kevin mbabu, who lays the ball before retrieving it, making a run into the box laying it off as Waldschmidt can take a cracking shot at the goal that was dealt with by Kevin Trapp; his save deflected and landed at the feet of wout Weghorst in a tiny window with to Frankfurt Defenders hovering around wout Weghorst connected with a sliding strike buy microscopic margins finding the back of the net as Wolfsburg got their equalizer. After the goal, Baku came in, proving that they were about business now. It was all Wolfsburg through Joshua guilavogui supplied by Baku had a shot denied by Kevin Trapp, and then a few minutes later, he went for it again, missing the target. Time ultimately began to wind down in stoppage-time; it looked like they had found a winner when wout Weghorst struck following late commotion in the Box. Still, it was called offsides; the Dutch Striker, who’s one of the most vocal players in the league, could not believe as he tried to argue his case, But ultimately the goal was not given the final whistle blew with both teams taking a point. Frankfurt was in dire need of something split ends with the top of the league. At the same time, Wolfsburg put together a terrific performance that wasn’t necessarily Justified by the score. Wolfsburg slips down from second in the league but still is on Bayern Munich’s tail as they remain unbeaten to start the season.
In hindsight, Wolfsburg probably should have collected all three-point considering how well they played. It just seemed like it wasn’t in the cards for them to collect maximum points. They got beat by a freak goal in the first half completely dominated the second half with the big Dutchman getting on the scoresheet play made it a demanding environment for Frankfurt but only could score the one goal they perhaps and other opportunities to break through and get another one but it just didn’t happen on Sunday night. The draw didn’t hurt Wolfsburg as they still remain within points of the top of the league and still are unbeaten this season. Wolfsburg is a team to watch, and even in the draw, they showed how great they could be when they’re playing well together. The man-of-the-match for me is Kevin mbabu, who continually push the ball up, proving to be a threat in the attacking installation truly one of the most underrated players in the Bundesliga he can contribute to both in the attack as well as defensively, which has made him incredibly valuable as he is a part of the best defense in the league. Wolfsburg has two very winnable games before a vital clash with Bayern Munich. Mark Van Bommel is unbeaten through four games is pushing the champions; the wolves have been nearly perfect so far this season; the winning streak is over, which should only motivate them.