Promoted Werder Bremen spoiled Wolfsburg’s coach Niko Kovac’s return to the Bundesliga.
Niko Kovac smiled a little tormented as he patted his colleague Ole Werner on the shoulder. After that, the coach of VfL Wolfsburg disappeared after the meager 2: 2 (1: 2) against newly promoted Werder Bremen with a gloomy expression in the dressing room. Kovac had imagined his return to the Bundesliga differently – and now his ex-club Bayern Munich is waiting.
“Of course we wanted to start the season with a win, but we didn’t manage that. We have a lot of work ahead of us. There are many, many things that we need to do better. Above all, how we defend together as a team,” said VfL -Sports Director Marcel Schäfer sky and added with a view to the game against the record champions next Sunday (14 August): “We have to do a lot better.”
Clemens Fritz, head of professional football at Werder, was “not satisfied despite the away point. We went there to win. It was an absolutely top performance in the first half. We allowed too much in the second half. But overall we have a played very well.”
Lukas Nmecha put VfL in the lead with a remarkable lob (11th). But Werder struck back within 120 seconds through Niclas Füllkrug (21st) and Leonardo Bittencourt (23rd). Josuha Guilavogui equalized late (84′).
The goals angered Schäfer. These were “unnecessary”, he complained. VfL “lacked aggressiveness in the decisive moments”. Up until the break in front of 28,015 spectators in the Volkswagen Arena, Bremen seemed more lively and thoughtful than Wolfsburg, who were rather sluggish at this stage.
Kovac had to take corrective action at ever shorter intervals, and his team was clearly inferior when it came to winning the ball. He reacted at half-time and replaced newcomer Mattias Svanberg from Sweden with veteran Guilavogui. The ex-captain, who was last loaned to his native France, is actually on the sales list in Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg – Werder: Max Kruse involved in the compensation
The hosts now acted more controlled on the defensive, but there were still problems in the forward movement. From the 56th minute, Danish national player Jonas Wind was supposed to provide more of a goal threat. But this change did not result in more than two half-chances. After all, Max Kruse, who came on shortly before the end, was involved in the equalization.
Before the game there had been problems between Werder supporters and the Wolfsburg police. Some ultra groups then decided to return to Bremen early.
“SV Werder and condemns the measures taken,” SV Werder tweeted. Allegedly, Werder fans were held and would not have had the opportunity to move freely.
VfL Wolfsburg – Werder Bremen: The voices
Niko Kovac (VfL Wolfsburg coach): “It didn’t go well in the first half, there were too many deficiencies defensively. After that, our lead in the tackle became more stable, so I can live with the draw. Of course, I know that we have to go to Bayern now, but every game is different .”
Ole Werner (Werder Bremen coach): “The performance in the first half was really good. That’s why the bottom line is that the result is okay. We were definitely able to show that we can fundamentally get along in the new league for us.”
VfL Wolfsburg – Werder Bremen: The lineups
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Baku (76th Kruse), Bornauw, Lacroix, van de Ven – Arnold, Svanberg (46th Guilavogui) – Wimmer (67th Kaminski), Brekalo (56th Wind), Marmoush (67th Waldschmidt) – Lukas Nmecha