Werkself suffer 1-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg

The Werkself were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline against VfL Wolfsburg at the BayArena and had to accept the second home defeat of the season. The only goal of the game was scored by Ridle Baku with a header on 35 minutes. Lucas Alario hit the post early on (6'), Julian Baumgartlinger was substituted late on due to an injury.

Head coach Peter Bosz made one change to the side that started in the 2-1 home win against Borussia Dortmund: Daley Sinkgraven replaced Wendell at left-back. Good news: Winger Karim Bellarabi returned to the squad for the first since breaking his hand in the Bundesliga clash at Eintracht Frankfurt (1-2). And Julian Baumgartlinger was back in the squad after also missing the game against BVB. Striker Patrik Schick was sidelined for the game against the Wolves after suffering a slight injury in training.

Woodwork prevents Werkself taking the lead

Less than 180 seconds had been played at the BayArena and the Werkself had the first clear-cut chance through Nadiem Amiri: Lars Bender put the Germany international through from midfield and he unleashed a shot from the right side of the target. Amiri beat the VfL goalkeeper Koen Casteels but central defender Maxence Lacroix was able to make the clearance off the line (3'). And the hosts continued to play on the front foot. Shortly after that, a cross from the right by Moussa Diaby found the head of Lucas Alario. The effort from the Argentinian from five yards out hit the right-hand post (6'). At the other end, Renato Steffen put a shot wide of the Werkself net with the first opportunity for the visitors in this top match (8') – a bright start in the clash between the teams in third and fifth place in the Bundesliga.


After a brief period without any real chances for either side, Alario again tested the VfL defence. The centre forward once again had a chance from a Diaby cross from five yards out – but Casteels was able to make the save (21'). Eight minutes later, Florian Wirtz, scorer of the winner in the clash with Dortmund, rounded off a move again involving Diaby but Casteels was able to save the right-foot effort. The Bosz team increasingly took control of the game but had to be aware of the constant threat on the break from the fast Wolfsburg forward Steffen.

Baku scores with header: Behind before the break

The Swiss international was involved in setting up the opening goal for the Wolves on 35 minutes: Steffen crossed from the left flank to the far post. Ridle Baku was unmarked a few yards out and he was able to guide his header into the left corner of the net. Only the second shot on goal in the game from the visitors brought the lead. Paolo Otávio had the third and final effort for the team from Lower Saxony in the first half – a long-range effort from the left-back was saved by Lukas Hradecky (45’). The half-time whistle soon followed.



New signing Fosu-Mensah makes debut

At the restart, fans watching on TV saw a new face in the black Werkself home kit. Timothy Fosu-Mensah, signed from top English club Manchester United a few days ago, came on for Lars Bender. The experienced full-back did not return to the pitch after suffering a blow to the back of his head in the middle of the first half. In contrast to the first 45, the second half started with comparatively few goalscoring opportunities with neither the Werkself nor VfL creating a chance in the first 20 minutes. It was only in the 67th minute that the next noteworthy incident occurred much of the disappointment of the visitors. Wolfsburg's striker Wout Weghorst chanced his luck from outside the box but Hradecky was able to get his hand to the shot and thereby prevent the Werkself going 2-0 down.




Head coach Peter Bosz reacted with 20 minutes to go by making a triple substitution. While Julian Baumgartlinger and Kerem Demirbay replaced Charles Aránguiz and Amiri in midfield, the introduction of winger Karim Bellarabi in place of central defender Jonathan Tah involved changing the formation to a 3-5-2 system. Baumgartlinger was substituted a few minutes after coming on: The Austrian had to be helped off due to a knee injury (81'). With the exception of an effort from Sinkgraven from 15 yards out that Casteels tipped over the bar, not much more happened and the Werkself ended up suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat against the visitors from Wolfsburg.

Away to Leipzig

The team under Peter Bosz are not in action during the week. Bayer 04 travel to Saxony next weekend to face RB Leipzig on Saturday 30 January (kick-off: 18.30 CET).

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – L. Bender (Fosu-Mensah 46'), Tah (Bellarabi 74'), Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Wirtz, Aránguiz (Baumgartlinger 74'/ Wendell 81’), Amiri (Demirbay 74’) – Diaby, Alario, Bailey

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels – Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Otávio – Schlager (Bialek 90 +4’), Arnold – Baku (Guilavogui 83’), Gerhardt, Steffen (Brekalo 61’) – Weghorst

Goals: 0-1 Baku (35’)

Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)

Booked: Alario – Lacroix

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