Wolves did not bite
The weeks of truth have begun. That is no real news since the intense and incredible draw against Stuttgart last week. However, before the really difficult matches of Borussia against Bayern, Scheisse and Gladbach, Borussia traveled to Wolfsburg in search of another important three points to keep the lead against Bayern until the top match on Wednesday. What can be said about our opponent? Well, I harshly criticized the club trained by Felix Magath in numerous articles before, so I will leave it with that because I don't want to repeat myself. However, the short facts need to be pointed out: It is a club financed by Volkswagen, under the lead of a dark imperator known as Magath and without tradition. It is hardly able to fill its stadium which gives place for around 30.000 people. Plain and simple: There were more than enough reasons to beat this unholy club.
Before the match
Even though Götze is back in team training and on his way back to the squad, he was not able to make it to the team in Wolfsburg as well as Felipe Santana. Ivan Perisic however was back in the starting eleven after his 4-3 against Stuttgart and Großkreutz found himself on the bench. It was the only change made to the team in comparison to the last match. This meant that the double six was once again built by Ilkay Gündogan and Sebastian Kehl and Sven Bender took place at the side. Wolfsburg found some eleven players out of its around 300 guys who managed to kick a ball.
Before the match started, I once again found out why I hate this club. Not only that they had a little choreography which looked like... well, once again I am leaving the neutral view on this topic... which showed a Volkswagen and did not look very nice, Wolfsburg's version of Norbert Dickel presented the starting eleven and looked like a clown doing so. Furthermore, the fans of Wolfsburg are no real comparison to our supporters, a fact which may sound arrogant, but in fact is not because they are no comparison to any fan scene in Germany except ones like Hoffenheim. However, I will focus on the match now because otherwise I would go on and on complaining about this club.
After 09 minutes, Borussia needed to score the first goal of the afternoon when Kagawa assisted Lewandowski who only had to overcome goalie Benaglio and eventually did so, but slightly missed the goal. These are one of the scenes in which you notice that Lewandowski is a brilliant striker – and fortunately, he proved it later on – but is still able to improve on the level of finalizing attacks. But some 13 minutes later, after a brilliant assist by Ivan Perisic, Lewandowski did a better job and scored after a nice cross from the left (22th). The lead for Borussia, not undeserved at this point and Perisic proved that he is a real alternative on the left side for Kevin Großkreutz. However, the lead would have been of short durance if Mario Mandzukic had beaten Weidenfeller after a cross from the left executed by Marcel Schäfer. But Weidenfeller presented a great reaction, saved the ball and Patrick Helmes who scored numerous times over the last few weeks failed to equalize with his rebound shot. Instead of aiming at the empty goal, he decided not to and missed (25th). The last chance of the first 45 minutes saw a nice shot by Gündogan out of around 18 meters which could be saved by Benaglio at the cost of a corner kick (45th). However, the corner didn't end up dangerously. Borussia earned the lead at half time because they were the better team, but it was a difficult match and Wolfsburg did not make things easy for the leader of the Bundesliga ranking. Many fans on the ranks hoped to double the lead to prevent any quivering.
And those wishes were fulfilled just four minutes into the second half when Ilkay Gündogan scored with a nice scoop after Kuba was fouled in the penalty area but referee Dingert decided to give the advantage to Borussia. Ilkay fought for the ball, eventually got it and made it 2-0 for BVB. It looked like this goal was the decider and the approximately 5.000 black and yellow supporters in Wolfsburg sang about winning the DFB cup and becoming Deutscher Meister once again. Even some "And once again Deutscher Meister BVB" chants could be heard in the Volkswagen Arena (quite a fitting name, hm?). On the other side, Wolfsburg's Vierinha tested Weidenfeller who saved a shot from the distance after 56 minutes had been played. The promising counter attack was given away be Lewandowski who tried to finalize a long shot directly and did not gain control over the ball. Seconds later, a shot by Kuba only hit the crossbar (58th). It was the 18th time that Borussia ended up in hitting aluminium doing this season – luck is not always on our side. Memories of Stuttgart were brought up again in minute 61 when a cross from the right by Dejagah who was one of the best players of the VfL on Saturday found the head of Mandzukic – only 1-2 with 30 minutes to go. Standing on the stands, I had this feeling that this afternoon would not end up great for the BVB and surely, I was not the only one who thought of the draw against Stuttgart once again at this point. Fortunately, it came different and I can laugh about those thoughts right now. Kagawa could have nursed my nurse in minute 73 when he was assisted by Gündogan (who once again impressed and underlined that he is in great shape at the moment) but Kagawa's shot slightly missed the goal. Nice attack though. Before the great feeling of relief arrived in Wolfsburg, Alexander Madlung saw his second yellow card and went under the shower early after he hit Piszczek with his elbow in minute 84. Just seconds later, Weidenfeller brilliantly saved against a green wolf. However, Robert Lewandowski appeared in front of the Wolfsburg goal one more time and showed no nerves this time. 3-1 Borussia, the match was decided once and for all. It was Lewandowski 19th goal of the season, an impressive number. All in all, Borussia gained a fully deserved victory over Wolfsburg who made a good job in challenging the Deutscher Meister.
Bayern Munich had a tough job to do against Augsburg but eventually ended up with the victory so the lead of three points remains stable. Now all eyes are set on Wednesday, on the top match against Bayern in Westfalenstadion. Of course, we will have a warm up report on this match which is already advertised as an instant classic. However, let's point out the importance of the victory in Wolfsburg for many reason. First, of course, this victory meant another three points. Second, the team proved that they are still in a good shape even though they drew against Stuttgard. Third, the team underlined that they are able to bring a lead home even though it was once again a match in which our nerves were put to a test. Go on, Borussia! We still have a dream and even the match against Munich is not a mission impossible.
VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Träsch, Madlung, Felipe, Rodriguez - Josué, Polak - Dejagah, Schäfer - Helmes, Mandzukic
Subs: Vierinha for Helmes (46th), Jiracek for Josué (54th), Sio for Träsch (80th)
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Kehl - Kuba, Kagawa, Perisic – Lewandowski
Subs: Großkreutz for Perisic (69th), Leitner for Kagawa (81st), Owomoyela for Kuba (87th)
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (22nd), 0-2 Gündogan (49th), 1-2 Mandzukic (61st), 1-3 Lewandowski (90th)
Bookings: Dejagah – Subotic, Kehl
Second yellow card: Madlung (84th)
Attendance: 30.000 (sold out Volkswagen Arena)