2-0 at Wolfsburg - impressive defence seals three points

Bayer 04 go into the international break on the back of a win. The Werkself won the away game at VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 thanks to a focused defensive performance. The two goals were scored by Karim Bellarabi with a brilliant solo effort (25') and Paulinho with his first Bundesliga goal (90+6').

Following the 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, Peter Bosz saw no reason to change his starting line-up in spite of playing three games in eight days. "The result has given us a boost," said the Dutchman before kick-off.

Defences dominate – Bender bleeds

It was evident that both teams had been in action on the European stage in the week as the tempo was restrained at the start of the game. However, Bayer 04 were first on the front foot and had the opening chance of the match with a low drive from Karim Bellarabi on six minutes. Otherwise the two teams struggled to make headway. The defences were on top and Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender were able to handle the Wolves' sharpshooter Wout Weghorst.

Sven Bender was involved in a clash with Joao Victor on 20 minutes but after extended treatment the Bayer 04 number five was able to carry on after his nosebleed was stopped. The first chance for the hosts came on 23 minutes but a volley from Weghorst hit the side netting.

Bellarabi solo effort – Havertz substituted

In a game where neither attack was able to impress, it was no surprise that an outstanding individual contribution was required – and that came from Bellarabi. The Werkself right winger received the ball on the touchline and then kept possession. He broke from the right into the box leaving Jeffrey Bruma and Jerome Roussillon standing and was then able to beat Josuha Guilavogui with a combination of assertiveness and some fortune before hitting a shot with his weaker left foot into the net at the near post – a brilliant solo effort to open the scoring (25').

The game livened up after the first goal: Kai Havertz was stopped in the box with a borderline tackle, Pavao Pervan saved a shot from Kevin Volland (40') and, at the other end, Charles Aránguiz managed to intervene as Robin Knoche was about to shoot (33'), and Maximilian Arnold hit the side netting (36'). In spite of deservedly being in the lead, the Werkself suffered a blow just before half-time: Havertz suffered a thigh injury defending and had to go off.

Diaby comes off the bench

The next change took place at half-time: Bellarabi was replaced by Moussa Diaby. Lucas Hradecky was then tested when the Finn, who was almost redundant in the first half, made a flying save to keep out a long-range rocket from Arnold and Kerem Demirbay blocked a dangerous follow-up shot from Weghorst (51'). Wolfsburg were now much livelier and a shot from Felix Klaus from the edge of the box rolled just past the left post (53').

Impressive defence shuts out the Wolves

The Werkself continued to pose a threat and did not sit back with Nadiem Amiri having a great chance to score a second but the shot from the Germany international went just wide (55'). It was a hard-fought and evenly balanced encounter but Wolfsburg continued to find it difficult up front also because the black and red defence produced a calm and disciplined performance that frustrated the opposition. As the Werkself then struggled to pose a threat there were few chances in the middle of the second half.

The game did liven up in the closing stages – initially in front of the Wolfsburg goal. Diaby used his pace in a counter-attack but his strike from inside the box went just over the bar (79'). The hosts naturally pressed for an equaliser but Weghorst missed the best chance for the Wolves as the ball just trickled past the Leverkusen net (81'). Bayer 04 were not seriously threatened after that as the Werkself defence continued to do an outstanding job.

Paulinho's first goal seals win

Bayer 04 had the final chances of the match: Paulinho came on and almost immediately had a shot saved from a tight angle by Pervan (90'). Volland was blocked when he was in a promising position (90+4'). Added time was virtually over when the Werkself rounded it off proceedings: Volland put Paulinho through and he was able to slot the ball past Pervan for his first Bundesliga goal (90+6').

Bayer 04 take the three points into the international break and are in touch with the leading group. The next game for the Werkself after the international fixtures is against SC Freiburg at the BayArena on 23 November (15.30 CET).

Match stats:

VfL Wolfsburg: Pervan - Tisserand, Bruma, Knoche (Nmecha 83') - William, Guilavogui, Arnold, Roussillon - Joao Victor (Brekalo 62'), Klaus (Steffen 74') - Weghorst

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell  – Aránguiz, Demirbay (Paulinho 90') – Bellarabi (Diaby 46'), Havertz (Baumgartlinger 42'), Amiri – Volland

Goals: 0-1 Bellarabi (25'), 0-2 Paulinho (90+6')

Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)

Booked: Joao Victor, Tisserand - Volland, Tah

Attendance: 24,112


Related News

Women - 20.06.2024

Bayer 04 sign Emilie Bragstad on permanent deal

Bayer 04 Leverkusen have completed the permanent move for central defender Emilie Bragstad from Bayern Munich. The Norway international played for the Werkself on loan last season but has now penned a deal to 30 June 2026.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 19.06.2024

Mbamba loaned to Fortuna Düsseldorf

Defensive midfielder Noah Mbamba has joined Fortuna Düsseldorf from Bayer 04 Leverkusen with immediate effect. The German champions and DFB Cup winners are sending the Belgian U21 international out on a one-year loan to the second division club, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga last season in the relegation play-offs against VfL Bochum.

Show more
Women - 19.06.2024

Loan extension: Vilhjálmsdóttir to stay at Bayer 04

Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir will play for Bayer 04 Leverkusen next season. The Iceland international has extended her contract with the champions of Germany Bayern Munich by a year to 2026 but will remain on loan at the Werkself in the new season.

Show more
Women - 18.06.2024

Feifel and Pätzold interview: 'Reaping the benefits of our youth work'

The first part of the preseason for the Bayer 04 women ahead of the 2024/25 campaign started on Monday 17 June with the first training session. Sporting director Achim Feifel and the new head coach Roberto Pätzold have two and a half months to get on the right track for a successful season in the Google Pixel Women’s Bundesliga. In this double interview with, the duo share their plans.

Show more
Women - 17.06.2024

Women return to training: New faces at Kurtekotten

The Kurtekotten Performance Centre is a hive of activity again: The Bayer 04 Women have returned to the training ground less than a month after their final game of last season. With the first session under new head coach Roberto Pätzold, Monday 17 June marks the start of the first part of the preseason ahead of the new campaign in the Google Pixel Women's Bundesliga.

Show more