Pernille Harder was the hero for the hosts on a cold Sunday in Wolfsburg, her first half goal added to at the death with an assist for substitute Isabel Kerschowski as Bayern travel home empty-handed.
As you were
Fridolina Rolfö saw the first chance of the game, less than two minutes in, the visitors exerting some pressure in the final third that Wolfsburg couldn’t relieve with more and more red shirts getting forward. Rolfö’s effort from outside the box far too casual, the ball sent wide of the near post and the hosts gifted the chance to clear. Tessa Wullaert’s shot at the other end as uninspired, high and wide as the Belgian international leant back to sent Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s parry out of bounds.
Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir’s drive from 25 yards brought about the first corner of the game after Korpela had been forced to turn the dipping shot over the bar. Alexandra Popp’s header at Caroline Graham Hansen’s delivery never troubling the ‘keeper. With both sides well matched, Bayern’s next sighter came through Vivianne Miedema who was keen to pounce on some poor passing from Almuth Schult, her finish as lacking as the error that led to the opportunity.
With eighteen of the twenty-two that started against each other in the Pokal game mid-week, it was easy to see the opening goal coming from a mistake rather than a moment of brilliance. In truth it was sloppiness from Gina Lewandowski as she missed her header, that gifted Pernille Harder the chance to seize upon the loose ball before bringing it into the box and rolling it underneath Korpela.
A loose foul on Miedema by Nilla Fischer brought about the first booking of the game, a level of weariness already visible. Having been unable to convert any of her free kicks earlier in the week, Melanie Behringer left the direct set piece to Katharina Baunach although the defender couldn’t keep her shot from rising. Breathless work from Anna Blässe created another opening for the hosts though there was no one in green to connect with full-back’s deep cross, Wolfsburg most creative on the right. A more central attack from Harder played Lara Dickenmann in in front of goal, the Swiss international seeing her point-blank shot saved by Korpela before Gunnarsdóttir scooped her effort over.
The match – despite the early goal – followed the same rhythm as the same tie in Munich earlier this week, with Bayern starting on the front foot before being pegged back by the Wolves. Green dominating Red.
Though the dominant side, Wolfsburg couldn’t make anything of their possession and pressure, the game almost entirely being played in the visitors’ half. The chances continued to rain for WOB with die Roten looking less and less like mounting an attack, Die Roten doing well to hold on at the back but desperately needing a goal.
Bayern start to knock
With Nicole Rolser brought on for Rolfö at the break the visitors had more urgency going forward and immediately saw more of the ball in the second-half, clear chances still however hard to come by.
More keen link-up play between Harder and Hansen saw the former lay-off for the latter, the young Norwegian international all too cute with her attempted shot, her angled nutmeg read by Korpela. The game hung in the balance, as Bayern found more and more room in the home box, green frantic to block and clear at the very last second to keep Schult protected, Miedema’s low effort from outside the area indicative of her frustrations. A nippy break gave the Dutch international another chance but with Fischer keen to stand her up, her swept effort was again well held by Schult.
With the wind firmly blowing in favour of the Bavarians the defending got leggier from the hosts, Babett Peter and Fischer both exhaustedly extending their limbs to clear the danger, bodies on the line for the cause.
The game was painfully stretched as it entered the home straight, the chance for counter attacks doubled and tripled for Wolfsburg, the chances there but a lack of finish or the presence of fatigue stunted their second. Sensing an equaliser, Thomas Wörle used his last substitute to bring on Lena Lotzen and give his side that extra edge at the last. However, the Bavarians’ fate was sealed seconds after Lotzen’s introduction as the hosts broke once more, and Isabel Kerschowski – with fresh legs – volleyed Harder’s looped pass low past Korpela. The match confirmed with a second goal late in the day just as it had been earlier this week.
An injury for the industrious Blässe slowed the game down as it entered its’ death-throws, Bayern pressed back into their own half, dreams of an equaliser long-gone as Wolfsburg began to play with a swagger once more, putting the tie to bed.
The loss puts Bayern four points behind Wolfsburg and six adrift of leaders Turbine Potsdam, the Bavarians will do well to put this double-loss behind them as they travel back south for the first of their UWCL quarter-final matches against PSG - the Parisiens coming into the tie on the back of their own defeat which has put their European qualification for next season into turmoil.