VFL Wolfsburg – Borussia Dortmund: Wolfsburg’s predictive football no match for solid Dortmund (0-1)
League leaders Dortmund did not have to be anywhere near their best form to take away three points from Wolfsburg, as a solid defensive display after Reus’ first half goal was enough to seal the deal. Apart from two very small chances in the final fifteen minutes, Wolfsburg never came close to equalizing.
This season has been a mixed bag for Wolfsburg, really. After a very positive start and some early optimism about potentially competing for Champions League spots, Bruno Labbadia’s men failed to win in six consecutive Bundesliga games. A victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf last week and a cup win against Hannover could be the start of a new spell of good results.
Like most managers that are struggling to land a string of good results, Labbadia has been tinkering with his formation and personnel. For this game, he opted for a 4-3-3 shape and instructed his ‘wingers’ Josip Brekalo and Daniel Ginczek to come inside when Dortmund had possession.
Dortmund were league leaders going into this match, enjoying a one point lead over Bayern Munich. As has been the hallmark throughout his whole career, manager Lucien Favre fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation, this time with Marco Reus deployed as a number ten behind striker Paco Alcácer. Reus had absolute freedom to roam left or right, and could also be seen dropping between the central midfielders to distribute play from there. His favorite side to drift towards remains the left, of course.
Wolfsburg’s approach blocks off the center of the pitch
Whenever Dortmund had the ball – which they had for more than sixty percent during the opening half hour – Wolfsburg had the clear strategy to . . .