A 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt meant that Wolfsburg could not capitalise on Bayern Munich's draw with FC Schalke. Stefan Aigner's sweet strike was cancelled out by Kevin de Bruyne's late equaliser, which will leave a sour taste in the hosts' mouths after a fine performance throughout.
Thomas Schaaf's side were desperate to bounce back from a heavy 4-1 defeat to SC Freiburg on Saturday, having held a half-time lead. It was a far from ideal start to the Rückrunde and Timothy Chandler's suspension meant that there was very little that the Eagles could take from the game. He was replaced by David Kinsombi, while Carlos Zambrano took Bamba Anderson's place.
Wolfsburg were on the right end of a 4-1 score-line, dispatching leaders Bayern Munich in an amazing game at the Volkswagen Arena. Unsurprisingly, head coach Dieter Hecking named an identical starting eleven to that which won oh-so-convincingly on Friday evening. New signing André Schürrle was not included in the matchday squad, after his Deadline Day move yesterday.
Contrary to the previous games, it was the hosts who were making all the early running. Takashi Inui and Haris Seferovic exchanged passes early on, but the Japanese midfielder could not find the target with his effort. Makoto Hasebe and Marc Stendera were also seeing plenty of the ball, though Wolfsburg were proving a tough nut to crack.
The returning Zambrano made a vital interception shortly after the 20th minute, as Ivan Perisic finally managed a shot on goal. De Bruyne worked his way down the right before squaring for the on-coming Croat, though the Frankfurt centre-back bailed his team out and somehow managed to block what would have been a certain goal.
That seemed to kick-start the game. Hasebe played a delightful through pass to Alexander Meier to run on to, the league's top-scorer was bearing down on Diego Benaglio and the Swiss stopper produced a top class save, high to his left, to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Kevin Trapp signed a contract extension with the Eagles until 2019 on Tuesday and his performance on the pitch was also making their fans smile. He was quickly down to deny de Bruyne's driven shot, before racing out to smother the ball before Daniel Caligiuri could reach it.
The second-half began in a similar fashion to the first, with little to no action in either penalty box. The best chance fell to de Bruyne, but once more the Wolves were thwarted by a Zambrano block.
However, finally, the deadlock was broken in the 57th minute. Inui picked the ball up in the Wolfsburg half and drove at the back-four, with Maxi Arnold and Luiz Gustavo hounding him the whole way. The play-maker steadied himself before picking out Stefan Aigner, who was steaming down the right hand side. Aigner struck it first time and it flew past the out-stretched Benaglio to send the Eagles 1-0 up.
The pair were at it again, but this time it was a role reversal. Unfortunately for the hosts, Inui couldn't finish off his team-mate's excellent cut back. Marco Russ then got in on the act, but his lung-busting run, and exchange with Seferovic, was kept out by Vieirinha's acrobatic clearance off the line. It was Wolfsburg's turn to come forward after that, as Bas Dost was denied by the offside flag and headed over moments later.
Hecking brought Niklas Bendtner on to try and spark some sort of turnaround, but the Frankfurt back-four remained incredibly steady. That was until the 88th minute, when de Bruyne struck to break home hearts. The Dane provided the assist, with de Bruyne ghosting in from the edge of the box to provide a cool-as-you-like finish to bring the game level.
The Belgian's third goal in three games meant that the game would finish all square, with a point helping neither side in their chase for respective objectives. Frankfurt will be kicking themselves for dropping points, but it was a welcome return to form after a poor showing against Freiburg.
Wolfsburg will be equally annoyed that they couldn't take advantage of Bayern's draw, especially after putting the Bavarians to the sword on Friday. The Wolves welcome Hoffenheim to the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday, while Schaaf's side will do battle with Augsburg on Sunday.