Wolfsburg 5-3 Werder Bremen, Volkswagen Arena
(Baku 22′, Brooks 25′, Weghorst 37′, 76′, Bialek 90+5′ – Bittencourt 13′, Möhwald 35′, Brooks o.g. 47′)
Before the game, Wolfsburg’s sporting director Marcel Schäfer spoke of being proud of the tradition the club has. Wolfsburg do have tradition, one tied to Volkswagen and an industrial city. In that way, it’s not as intriguing or familiar as other German clubs, but so far this season, their most intriguing habit is their inability to lose.
For five minutes, it looked like another stale Friday night game and Werder Bremen’s sixth straight 1-1 draw was on the cards. Instead, Wolfsburg twice threw away the lead before scoring two more to win an eight-goal thriller that keeps the hosts undefeated after nine games.
“Incredible game – eight goals! It was back and forth,” Baku said afterwards with a big smile.
The hosts weren’t smiling when Yuya Osako bullied Maxence Lacroix off the ball to set up the opener, though. They were stunned when Kevin Möhwald’s looping header crept in, and they shook their heads in disbelief when John Anthony Brooks sent a bizarre deflection into his own net. But each time, Wolfsburg found an answer.
The hosts needed three minutes to overcome Bremen’s opener, thanks to Ridle Baku’s long-range strike and a John Brooks goal in the right net. Then it was Wout Weghorst scoring 90 seconds after Bremen’s second and pivotally heading home the fourth to effectively decide the game.
In a crazy game, there was also time for Möhwald to get sent off and Polish striker Bartosz Bialek to score his first Bundesliga goal.
Wolfsburg showed off their best and worst in 95 minutes on Friday night. Their crossing was a joy and their finishing sharp throughout, but their defensive lapses were also on show.
“A remarkable amount of slapstick,” Baku said afterwards of those errors, all of which effectively directly led to three Bremen’s goals.
On another night, against a different team this might have been Wolfsburg’s first loss of the season, but Bremen made even more mistakes and, as both defender Omer Toprak and head coach Florian Kohfeldt bemoaned afterwards, didn’t really get stuck in.
Having spent most of the season not scoring (9 in total before tonight) or conceding (5 in total before tonight), Wolfsburg showed even when they concede three they still don’t lose. If Oliver Glasner and his side can keep this tradition up, they’ll have a lot more to be proud of than where they come from.