In a hard-fought contest, FC Ingolstadt 04 came away with a very credible draw with VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday evening.
Ingolstadt's stellar start to the season continued with a hard-fought derby win over FC Augsburg. Ralph Hasenhüttl was earning plaudits week after week and perhaps unsurprisingly, opted to name a completely unchanged starting eleven from that which triumphed before the international break.
Wolfsburg, even without Kevin de Bruyne and Ivan Perisic were still looking just as convincing going forward. Their 3-0 win over Schalke 04 was evidence of that, and they named a largely similar team. There were debuts for Julian Draxler and Dante, who forced Timm Klose and Max Kruse out of the side. Aside from that, Vieirinha was injured and replaced by André Schürrle and Diego Benaglio returned in goal for Koen Casteels.
Exciting start to the game
It was a tense and tight beginning in Bavaria, although the strength of their opponents didn't prevent the hosts from going forward and trying to get an early lead. That was almost case, too, when Marvin Matip's attempted header looped onto the roof of the net from Pascal Groß' free-kick.
Matip turned into the villain at the other end second later, with his header forcing Ramazan Özcan to rush out and force Bas Dost to chip wide. To their credit, Ingolstadt were causing plenty of trouble and Ricardo Rodriguez had to be alert to prevent Mathew Leckie from getting on the end of a dangerous cross.
Wolfsburg have their chances
Wolfsburg were coming forward more and more, and it looked like some clever play had handed Draxler the perfect chance to open his account at his new club. He threaded the ball out to Daniel Caligiuri, who quickly returned the favour only for their marquee signing to shoot wide of the mark.
Despite the late onslaught, Ingolstadt managed to hold out until half-time and were confident of springing a surprise in the second period. Roger almost did just that, but seen his volley comfortably held by Benaglio.
Wolfsburg were keen to establish themselves in the game and set-pieces seemed to be the best way to break down the stubborn home defence. Naldo almost opened the scoring, only to be correctly flag for offside. The Brazilian met another corner moments later but the ball ballooned into the stands.
Niklas Bendtner and Max Kruse were brought on with 20 minutes left to try and find a way back into the game, though Ingolstadt had to be more concerned about Draxler finding more space between the midfield and defence. He almost produced the piece of magic needed, only to see Özcan produce a brilliant save.
Naldo's hammer of a free-kick had to be palmed away by Özcan late on, but that was all she wrote. Ingolstadt had secured a famous point against one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. They will, however, feel slightly lucky to have came away with a point after Wolfsburg's dominance.