VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke 04

Posted on September 11, 2011


MARIO MANDZUKIC turned villan to hero in Felix Magath’s eyes with the Croatian hitman netting twice to help Wolfsburg to three points against Schalke.

The 25-year-old was fined £10,000 in midweek following their 3-0 defeat to SC Freiburg on Matchday four but he remained in the starting eleven and scored the equaliser after Raul had put the visitors ahead but the Croatian netted the winner on 82 minutes.

Die Konigsblauen move down to sixth in the Bundesliga and are three points behind FC Bayern and Werder Bremen who are top of the table. The Wolves move up in to 13th with their second victory of the season after coming from behind.

Wolfsburg hit the headlines last week with Felix Magath fining Patrick Helmes and Mandzukic for failing to adhere to his tactics against SC Freiburg. The Croatian striker remained in the starting line-up, whilst Helmes was demoted to the bench.

There was three changes to the side which lost 3-0 in Freiburg with Diego Benaglio, Thomas Hitzslperger and Patrick Helmes dropping out for Marwin Hitz, Rasmus Jonsson and Srdjan Lakic.

Rangnick opted to make just one change to the Schalke starting eleven with Marco Hoger replacing Japanese right-back Astuto Uchida.

Die Konigsblauen have started well this season and beat Gladbach in the last matchday thanks to Raul’s goal just after the hour mark to make it three wins from four matches.

Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke: 90 minutes

The Wolves looked shaky in the opening few minutes of the game with Christian Fuchs supplying some decent set-pieces for the away side.

Magath’s men had conceded eight goals from their opening four matches in the Bundesliga and were up against an in-form Schalke side.

And Raul made it nine goals from five games after an excellent cross from Jefferson Farfan picked out his team-mate at the front post and the former Real Madrid man poked the ball home.

Sotiris Kyrgiakos is a name familiar with Rangers and Liverpool supporters and he was making his second start for Wolfsburg. The Greek defender came close on the 20 minute mark with a glancing header which just missed the far post.

Felix Magath’s men equalised on 32 minutes after Mario Mandzukic headed low past Ralf Fahrmann from close range.

Wolfsburg were close to a second goal after Raul was perfectly positioned to head out Srdjan Lakic’s near-post header which beat the Schalke keeper.

Just after the restart, Ralf Rangnick introduced Ciprian Marica in to the game and he replaced the ineffective Julian Draxler. Schalke went with a 4-2-1-3 with Raul just behind the Romanian striker, Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Huntelaar squandered an excellent chance on 58 minutes when he was played in by Joel Matip on the right-hand side of the box and the Dutch international hitman dragged his shot across the face of goal.

The Royal Blues certainly had plenty of possession in midfield but lacked ideas in the final-third with Jefferson Farfan the only creative attacker as such.

But with the majority of possession, losing concentration could be costly for Schalke and Srdjan Lakic really should have punished the visitors after some slack play by Farfan. Marcel Shafer dispossessed the Peruvian and his cross was headed wide by Lakic.

The Croatian striker, who joined from Kaiserslutern in the summer, was involved in the thick of the action when he was brought down by Lewis Holtby inside the box but the referee refused to award the home side a spot-kick.

With the game entering the last ten minutes, Schalke really should have gone ahead when Christian Fuchs produced a quite magnificent left-foot cross for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who couldn’t convert from close range.

But it was Wolfsburg who would go in front on 82 minutes when Marcel Schafer’s weak free-kick was deflected towards goal by Mario Mandzukic and the ball went past the helpless Fahrmann.

Despite bringing on Baumjohann and Jurado, Schalke still lacked creativity in attack and Wolfsburg were comfortable in the end to secure their second win of the campaign so far.

MOTM: Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg)

Posted in: Matches