Bayern Munich 1-2 VfL Wolfsburg: Wolves make a statement in Munich

Germany's top two from last season went head-to-head in a battle for early dominance.

Bayern Munich 1-2 VfL Wolfsburg: Wolves make a statement in Munich
Bayern Munich
1 2
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich: Korpela, van der Gragt (Rolser, min. 66), Holstad, Schnaderbeck, Lewandowski, Behringer (c), Leupolz, Faißt, Evans (Gerhardt, min. 66), Däbritz, Miedema
VfL Wolfsburg : Schult, Kerschowski, Goeßling, Fischer (c), Peter, Jakabfi (Šimić, min. 75), Gunnarsdóttir, Dickenmann (Maritz, min. 87), Blässe, Hanson (Mittag, min. 66), Popp
SCORE: 0-1, min. 32, Dickenmann. 1-1, min. 70, Miedema. 1-2, min. 76, Popp.
REFEREE: Katrin Rafalski (Baunatal). Booked: None.
INCIDENTS: Frauen Bundesliga match played between Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg at the Grünwalder Stadion. Attendance: 1480.

First and second in the Frauen Bundesliga last year, VfL Wolfsburg sent out a loud message as they twice took the lead against Bayern Munich at the Grünwalder Stadion.

First Lara Dickenmann put the visitors ahead before Vivianne Miedema evened the scores but Alexandra Popp struck just six minutes later to give the two-time champions a a big three points. 

Stuck in midfield

With neither Munich or Wolfsburg making a perfect start to the season, the big name clash early in the season was set to be a hotly contested affair. The hosts set the pace from the out, Anna Blässe flashing a header just over at a corner with less than two minutes played before the Wolves began to work the ball well down the left side of the pitch.

With the defenders falling away Sara Däbritz glided through midfield with the ball before being allowed the time and space to get her shot away, her drive low into the centre of the goal, an easy enough claim for Almuth Schult. With both teams doing their best to dominate midfield, progress was slow, however the hosts looked to be having more joy getting forward, Vivianne Miedema’s neat volley fired wide.

Wolfsburg’s best chance came through Blässe who took the ball off of Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s gloves and headed narrowly wide as the keeper attempted to punch Zsanett Jakabfi dinked ball clear. When out of possession the visitors did well to drop everyone back and reduce Munich’s options but flocked forward on the attack, a lack of smooth transition halting their progress.

Swiss breakthrough

If Wolfsburg needed numbers in attack than the hosts needed just one, as Miedema slipped past Nilla Fischer to race onto a long ball, even with Babett Peter and Fischer chasing her down the tricky attacker still had acres of space to run into. However, her shot from the edge of the D was rushed and worried, miss-kicked wide of Schult’s left-hand post. The miss proved to be a costly one as the visitors took the lead two minutes later.

After Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir charged down Isabel Kerschowski’s deflected effort from range, Korpela was forced to concede a corner. With the hosts failing to fully clear the set-piece, more and more white shirts pressed into the home half, Gunnarsdóttir’s ball into the box flicked on by Alexandra Popp for Lara Dickenmann to sidefoot past Korpela.

The hosts responded well and took no time in earning themselves a corner that was easily punched clear by Schult, the keeper alert to Däbritz’s follow up moments later, the crafty attacker once more firing low and central, making Schult’s job all the easier. Wolfsburg were edging their opponents all the way to half-time although neither side looked at their best, both struggling for natural fluidity. The same pattern continued into the second-half, neither home nor away smooth in possession, defences winning out.

Munich left to wonder how they weren’t level ten minutes after the restart when Schult flew out of her goal to sweep in classic German fashion, taking Däbritz out in the process as she attempted to head clear. The ball fell perfectly for Miedema to hit in mid-air with the keeper far from home and the goal wide open, her Dutch international’s half-volley expertly headed off of the line by Peter.

From one heart-in-the-mouth moment to another as Wolfsburg missed the chance to go two to the good. Lara Dickenmann’s whipped ball across the box evaded Caroline Graham Hansen at the near post before Jakabfi’s first touch took it away from her at the far, a let off for the hosts.

Short-lived joy for the hosts

With twenty minutes left Miedema gave the home side a beacon of hope, after Däbritz had won her side a corner, Melanie Behringer opted to play short to the 21-year-old who looped the ball invitingly into the box. Miedema first to the aerial ball ahead of Fischer, her header perfect to loop over her marker before slipping just inside of the far post. With the scores level the home side amped up the noise, the Grünwalder Stadion beginning to rock as Munich passed the ball around with more ease, hungry for the advantage.

With the hosts looking increasingly more comfortable all it took as one swift break from the visitors from them to reopen their lead. Lena Goeßling’s angled ball found Popp racing into the box, perfectly placed between the split centre-backs, even with Gina Lewandowski closing down the angle, Popp was unmoved as she teed up her shot and fired across the box into the far corner.

With the game getting scrappier by the minute Popp was denied the chance to seal with win and clinch a brace with less than five minutes’ left on the clock. Once again ghosting behind the defence and firing across goal, this time Korpela refused to be beaten as she got the faintest of finger-tips on the goal-bound effort to turn it just wide.

Early warning signs for the champions?

After starting the season out with a draw against SC Freiburg, Munich bounced back with a narrow win over USV Jena but with just four points from their opening three games Die Roten sit in an unappealing 7th. With so much of the season yet to be played it's far too early to suggest that the Bavarians are about to surrender their title but with Wolfsburg taking points off of them at home and the resurgence of Turbine Potsdam, the waters ahead look choppy for the current champions. 

Wolfsburg were always set to give them a good game but they looked a little disjointed throughout, unable to get the ball down and play; all the pieces are there for Thomas Wörle's side but they're just not coming together.

Wolfsburg have had a similarly choppy start to the year, dropping points to SC Sand on the opening day of the season, although not at their best in Munich they rode out the pressure and got the job done and can already boast a big scalp early in the campaign. With two big games against Chelsea in the UWCL coming up Ralf Kellermann will demand total focus from his side to navigate the banana peel tie.