Edin Dzeko and Torsten Frings both erred from the penalty spot as Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen shared the spoils with Per Mertesacker imperious in defense.Torsten Frings and Edin Dzeko both failed to convert penalty-kicks as Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen ground out a scoreless draw at the VW-Arena in a rather drab affair.
The first spot-kick was awarded after 74 minutes when Marko Arnautovic's persistence as he tried to escape the clutches of three Wolfsburg defenders was awarded when he was tripped inside the box by Josue. Furious protests from the Wolfsburg players ensured a long delay, which may have affected Frings, who saw his kick slightly fortuitously diverted onto the post by Diego Benaglio's trailing legs. The Bremen skipper, aware of the importance of his miss, slumped to the ground in agony.
Less than three minutes later, Wolfsburg found themselves awarded a penalty of their own when Sebastian Proedl's arm across Mario Mandzukic sent the Croatian tumbling to the ground and prompted the referee to blow his whistle. Edin Dzeko stepped up but contrived to miss the target altogether. Wiese guessed the wrong way but he was left punching the air in relief and delight as the Bosnian striker skied his effort over the crossbar.
From the beginning, Diego looked to make an impact against his former club and he was handed ample opportunity as Thomas Schaaf's men ceded the initiative to the home side. The Brazilian stung the fingertips of Tim Wiese with a ferociously struck free-kick after eight minutes before six minutes he was denied again by the German-international goalkeeper.
Between those two efforts, we saw a glimpse of Per Mertesacker at his very best. The giant defender has had a season blighted by injury and poor form but he made a superb sliding challenge inside the box to deny Edin Dzeko a golden shooting opportunity in the twelfth minute.
Although Bremen were a little more assertive after the break, Wolfsburg continued to dominate possession and Mario Mandzukic spurned a good opportunity inside the penalty box when he failed to catch the shot perfectly, leaving Wiese to make a straightforward save. Then, just after the hour mark, Mertesacker was on hand again as his challenge helped put off Mario Mandzukic, who skewed his shot wide with Wiese well beaten.
Neither side could muster a breakthrough in the last quarter of the game, with the aforementioned penalty misses. Werder should have snatched the three points with the last kick of the game but Aaron Hunt's casual finish was rather fittingly saved by Diego Benaglio, who had done so much to keep his side in the match.
The draw leaves die Woelfe in thirteenth place while Werder Bremen move up to tenth above Nuernberg. Wolfsburg face a trip to Kaiserslautern next week while Bremen are away to league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
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