Mark van Bommel's VfL Wolfsburg are suddenly winless in seven matches on the trot after a 1-3 defeat away at Salzburg in Wednesday night's Champions League fixture.
German international Karim Adeyemi, American Brenden Aaronson, and Switzerland's Noah Okafor were among the Salzburg stars securing the decisive victory.
|Mark van Bommel.|
A Wednesday night UCL fixture ended up prolonging VfL Wolfsburg's issues. After three straight league defeats, Wolfsburg have now dropped another important tie in Salzburg.
Van Bommel ended up handing Aster Vranckx his first start with his new club as part of four personnel changes from the weekend league loss against Union Berlin. Vranckx replaced the suspended Joshua Guilavogui in midfield. Ridle Baku, Renato Steffen, and Maxence Lacroix also returned to the starting XI.
The Austrian hosts got off to a furious attacking start and were already up 1-0 in the 2nd minute. The much discussed German international Karim Adeyemi completely toasted defender Kevin Mbabu and dribbled across the box skillfully before sliding home.
The frazzled Wolfsburg defensive ranks nearly conceded again in the frantic minutes thereafter. Adeyemi had Brenden Aaronsen in his sights in the 7th, but the pass proved a bit too far for the American. Noah Akafor also hit the cross in the 11th.
Very much against the run of play, the German guests were able to pull an equalizer back off a corner kick. Lukas Nmecha--again starting for the COVID afflicted Wout Weghorst--nodded home a Maximilian Arnold service with the slightest of touches in the 12th.
Van Bommel's men were finally able to play their way into the game shortly after the half-hour mark. Nmecha was then denied by an outstanding block from Maximilian Wöber after nice set-top work from Vranckx and Baku in the 39th.
Cheered on by their raucous home crowd, the Austrian Red Bulls took the initiative after the restart. Adeyemi came very close to restoring the lead, denied only by the fingertips of VfL keeper Koen Casteels in the 57th.
Eight minutes of sustained attacking work later, the hosts did indeed get their second goal. The VfL defensive ranks were all out of sorts on an Aaronsen corner. Okafor eventually poked home for the 2-1 in the 67th. Okafor completed a brace with another finish off a corner ten minutes later.
Though there was still time to salvage a draw, the German guests could not turn the momentum back in their direction. The Lower Saxons failed to register a single shot on target in the second 45. Casteels made several notable saves down the stretch to prevent the blowout.
The result sends Matthias Jaissle's RB Salzburg to the top of the group, five points clear of both Wolfsburg and Lille on two points. The winless German Wolves are by no means out of the competition yet, but must do something to arrest their current slide across all competitions.
|39||M. Wöber ↪72|
|17||A. Ulmer (C) ↪86|
|19||M. Camara ↪66|
|27||K. Adeyemi ⚽ ↪86|
|77||N. Okafor ⚽⚽ ↪86|
|9||J. Adamu ↩86|
|23||R. Šimić ↩86|
|37||D. Guindo ↩86|
|7||N. Capaldo ↩66|
|1||K. Casteels (C)|
|15||J. Roussillon ↪70|
|20||R. Baku ↪70|
|10||L. Nmecha ⚽|
|5||M. van de Ven|
|6||P. Otávio ↩70|
|22||F. Nmecha ↩70|