Wolfsburg’s long list of shortcomings and one exception: "We did well"

In a game to be forgotten, VfL Wolfsburg had little good to offer at the Champions League opener in Lille. In addition to the score, there was at least one thing that the actors liked.

Wolfsburg’s players were relieved after the final whistle in Lille.

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2:17 shots on goal. That was the terrifying record of Bundesliga leaders VfL Wolfsburg after the goalless draw at the Champions League opener in Lille. There is no question that the players had other plans after the club’s five-year absence. “I had high expectations,” admitted attacker Wout Weghorst at DAZN afterwards. But his dreams were not fulfilled.

Not a single successful graduation

Because Wolfsburg played slowly, not once embarrassed the opposing goalkeeper Ivo Grbic. After just under an hour, the ball flew as a “shot on goal” at Lilles’ box. “I didn’t think we were brave, we weren’t good on the ball, we weren’t clean,” Weghorst said. The appearance was not like in the Bundesliga season that had started so well.

Maximilian Arnold knew that, too, who was relieved and even “happy” about the draw. “Especially after the 30 minutes outnumbered.” John-Anthony Brooks allowed himself two frivolous fouls and was sent off with a yellow card in the 62nd minute. After all: After that “we threw everything into the balance”, Arnold rightly said. But he also knew: “The only thing we can take away is that we have shown a very good fighting performance.” He is aware that “we can definitely play better football”.

We let the guts buy from us.

The nervousness due to the inexperience of the players – only six in the starting XI already had experience in the premier class – was definitely noticeable. “We let ourselves be bought off a bit,” summed up Arnold, for whom the numerous warnings against his team were too much. He therefore does not know “whether one always has to say: everything has to be more physical”. In the end, the many mistakes were decisive, a “multitude of small details”. Still, my colleague Weghorst was happy to take the positive with him. After being sent off, the team knew “that there was only one thing to do: defend and get the result here – and we did well.”

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