Nothing works together at VfL Wolfsburg anymore. Four days after the bitter cup exit in Mönchengladbach there was a 0-1 draw against Freiburg. The pictures are similar.
The sporting crisis at VfL Wolfsburg is coming to a head. Despite the best chances, the ambitious Volkswagen club lost 0-1 (0-0) against a harmless SC Freiburg.
Michael Gregoritsch took advantage of one of only two Freiburg chances in the game in the 74th minute. In terms of the course of the game, the exploitation of opportunities and the resultless dominance, from Wolfsburg’s point of view this next setback was reminiscent of the cup exit at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Tuesday evening.
There, Wolfsburg were eliminated in the round of 16 with a goal in extra time. In the Bundesliga, VfL has only won one of the last eight games. The declared season goal of European Cup qualification can no longer be achieved in a competition and is already seven points away in the league. So far, however, the club management has backed the controversial coach Niko Kovac.
In front of 20,146 spectators, Wolfsburg continued against Freiburg in exactly the same way as they had left off four days earlier in Mönchengladbach: they missed even those opportunities where it is apparently harder to miss the goal than to hit it.
In the 4th minute, Mattias Svanberg hit the crossbar after a nice one-two with Jona Wind. 20 minutes later, Lovro Majer shot over the goal from six meters, completely unchallenged (24th).
The 25-year-old Croatian came from Stade Rennes in France for around 25 million euros before the season. And one of the areas of attack that coach Niko Kovac offers many fans and apparently also parts of the team is: VfL’s complete lack of playful development, although the squad was strengthened in the summer with several talented offensive players such as Vaclav Cerny, Tiago Tomas and especially Majer became.
Kovac accepted one point of criticism for this. Because the constant and sometimes wild change of tactics and personnel is over for now. The former Bayern coach also had his team play in a 3-4-2-1 system against Freiburg. Captain Maximilian Arnold was back in central midfield in his 400th competitive game for VfL.
And so for a long time Wolfsburg didn’t play like a team that would like to get rid of a supposedly unpleasant coach. At the back, VfL didn’t allow anything except for the 0-1 lead and a remarkable shot from Matthias Ginter (18′). And for at least an hour he played forward the way Kovac likes to see it: straightforward, running intensively and, if possible, always playing the ball deep.
The big shortcoming was the exploitation of chances and, as the game length increased, the creation of chances in general. In the 54th minute, the Swede Svanberg only hit the side netting after preparation by Ridle Baku (54th). After that, Freiburg retreated further and further. VfL could no longer find a way through this defensive bar.
SC coach Christian Streich had warned about Wolfsburg before the game. “When there’s pressure on the kettle, it steams. And then you have to make sure you don’t burn yourself when you lift the lid,” he said. In fact, VfL’s crisis continues to boil over.
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