No trophy, no Champions League – and a worried look down in the Bundesliga? VfL Wolfsburg is slipping deeper and deeper into the crisis under coach Florian Kohfeldt, against VfB Stuttgart the ambitious Lower Saxony deservedly lost 2-0 (0-1) and received their fifth competitive defeat in a row. The lead over the relegation zone is suddenly only four points.
This left the Stuttgart thanks to the hits from birthday boy Konstantinos Mavropanos (25th) and Philipp Förster (63rd). Omar Marmoush also put a penalty on the crossbar and missed the chance to score the third goal (60th).
With 17 points, VfB are now one point ahead of relegation place 16. Wolfsburg has been waiting for a win for five weeks and has 20 points on the account.
VfL has not been represented in the DFB Cup since the beginning of August, last Wednesday the Wolves gambled away against OSC Lille (1: 3) then the winter in the European Cup – the Bundesliga and especially the game against Stuttgart were therefore of particular importance.
Kohfeldt, who took over the post at the end of October, expected too much, but not at all from his team. “At the moment we have to be more about dynamics and intensity,” he said recently, “we’re not suddenly going to be playing fantastic combined football.”
Mavropanos hits the lead with a dream goal
And that’s how the game began, Wolfsburg operated a lot with long balls, and VfB played the more sophisticated football.
The Swabians’ opening goal was nothing short of exemplary. Over several stations, the ball ran around and through the penalty area of the hosts, without a Wolfsburg could intervene decisively. In the end, Mavropanos shot him violently into the corner. The Greek center-back turned 24 on Saturday.
Förster worried about decision for VfB
Only minutes later, Wolfsburg’s Maximilian Arnold was allowed to lay the ball 17 meters in front of the opposing goal, but failed with his free kick on the strongly reacting Florian Müller in the VfB goal. Wolfsburg was now challenged, but found no further solutions, Stuttgart seemed more light-footed.
The second half was almost uneventful for a long time, which was also due to Stuttgart’s strong work against the ball. Coach Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team attacked early, played for the next goal and kept bringing many players close to the goal – that’s how the 2-0 fell.
Förster was one of numerous possible takers in the penalty area during a quick attack and scored from close range.