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October 16, 2010
• VOLKSWAGEN ARENA, Wolfsburg
Referee: T. Kinhöfer
• Attendance: 25000
S. Rolfes 72', 82'
A. Vidal 75'
Leverkusen have held on! Without Ballack, Renato Augusto and Stefan Kiessling, they have pulled off an incredible comeback after being 2-0 down to Wolfsburg. Simon Rolfes' introduction made the difference with the club captain netting twice to spark a dramatic turnaround. Another crushing defeat for Wolfsburg after leading convincingly. Leverkusen now move to third spot after Hannover's earlier defeat. It's been an immense pleasure to commentate on yet another Bundesliga classic. Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen!
90' + 4'
Yellow CardSidney Sam
There are to be a minimum of three minutes of stoppage time for Wolfsburg to try and salvage a point tonight, having led 2-0.
Yellow CardAshkan Dejagah
Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hoeness is down on the sidelines with a face like thunder, quite unable to comprehend the stunning turnaround in fortunes in this game. Dejagah picks up a booking for a trip on Vidal.
Derdiyok had the chance to finish off Wolfsburg as he raced clear down the right-hand channel but then wasted the opportunity by checking back onto his left side and having his progress halted by Barzagli.
Josue is sacrificed for the final few minutes and Dejagah enters in his stead.
And here come Wolfsburg and Cicero heads JUST OVER the bar!!! Adler came out, did not collect and Cicero was inches away from an equaliser. Kahlenberg comes off and is replaced by the former Dinamo striker Mario Mandzukic. Ashkan Dejagah is also about to enter the fray.
Could this be another horror show from Wolfsburg, letting a sizeable lead slip in the second half? Remember they lost 4-3 to Mainz having led 3-0. Leverkusen have fully deserved this as they have been excellent in the second period and did not deserve to go a second goal down.
SIMON ROLFES!!! LEVERKUSEN BACK FROM THE DEAD!! 3-2 LEVERKUSEN! Chaos in the Wolfsburg defence from a set-piece and Rolfes nips in at the back post to head the ball into the net past Hitz!!!
OFF THE LINE!!! Simon Rolfes is having a stormer since his entrance! A delicately weighted pass finds Jorgensen whose shot beats Hitz but is cleared off the line. And a stunning shot from Kadlec from distance, he struck it like a bullet and Hitz gets two strong fists to the ball and parries it behind for a corner.
Wolfsburg bring off Hasebe for the Brazilian midfielder Cicero who is on loan from relegated Hertha Berlin. Die Woelfe paid Hertha €800,000 for the deal.
Diego goes down theatrically after a nothing clash with Sam. His free-kick is headed away by the commanding Rolfes.
Yellow CardMichal Kadlec
Steve McClaren is readying both Alex Madlung and Cicero to enter the fray. Kadlec receives a booking for a late trip.
Incredible fightback from Leverkusen and Arturo Vidal has his fourth goal of the season, to go with two assists. That should give some more cheer to the freed Chilean miners, who received Leverkusen shirts from the tenacious midfielder.
Penalty GoalArturo Vidal
INCREDIBLE SCENES - PENALTY FOR LEVERKUSEN! Handball by Hasebe and Kinhoefer points to the spot! VIDAL SCORES IT!! 2-2!!! He went to Hitz's left, the keeper gets two hands on the ball but cannot prevent it hitting the back of the net!! Jupp Heynckes is on his feet in celebration!!!
TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR LEVERKUSEN! SIMON ROLFES!!!!! The captain has delivered barely two minutes after coming off the bench!!!! The free-kick was delivered into the box, Hitz came a long way and failed to get even one fist to the ball and Rolfes heads home into the vacant net!
Jupp Heynckes also made his final change of the game, bringing off Stefan Reinartz for the returning skipper Simon Rolfes.
Yellow CardManuel Friedrich
A killer blow for the visitors who had had by far the better of the play after the resumption. Unfortunately for the visitors, Manuel Friedrich was just not sharp enough to stop Dzeko getting the cross in, which is a shame as he has been outstanding this evening. Manuel Friedrich is booked for a tug on Dzeko, needless really with Hyypia in complete command of the situation.
TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR WOLFSBURG - GRAFITE 2-0! Dzeko finds space inside the box and squares the ball left-footed across goal. Rene Adler gets a hand to the cutback and Grafite, who holds his run just about can do nothing else but tap the ball home into the empty net.
Yellow CardStefan Reinartz
Stefan Reinartz is unsurprisingly booked for a cynical challenge as he wrestles Diego to the ground to prevent a breakaway from the little Brazilian. Such a challenge wouldn't even be deemed acceptable in rugby as the holding player had both hands around Dzeko's neck. TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR GRAFITE 2-0!!!!
Sensing their team's lull and need of a lift, the home fans have turned the volume up a notch or three. And another chance for Bayer - superb cross in from Jorgensen, which just evaded Sam at the far post after Schaefer got into a bit of a pickle.
A first contribution from Jorgensen with a non-threatening shot from distance, which nevertheless was fumbled momentarily by Hitz.
A double change for the visitors as Jupp Heynckes elects to replace Patrick Helmes with Nicolai Jorgensen and Tranquillo Barnetta with Lars Bender.
An inviting ball into the box from Kadlec is almost met by Barnetta but there is just too much pace on it and not even a dramatic slide from the Swiss can keep the ball alive.
After some neat interplay, Schwaab puts in a poor cross from the right, which is headed away by Josue at the near post. Leverkusen are playing the ball about nicely but lack enough penetrating passes and could do with quickening the tempo as Wolfsburg are getting enough defenders back to deal with Bayer.
And another superb challenge from Riether to thwart another of Kadlec's marauding runs down the left flank. A fantastic standard out there from both sides.
More bulldozing work from Grafite down the right-hand side and he finds Dzeko in the box in a prime position to score but Manuel Friedrich executes a stunning tackle to stop the Bosnian in his tracks. Top class defending from the German international.
Leverkusen have had the better of the opening ten minutes of the second half. Another probing run by Sidney Sam, who is threatening to pop open like a champagne bottle, almost finds Helmes but he can't quite reach the ball.
Barnetta has a go from distance with a low left-foot volley struck first-time, which flashes a good deal wide of Hitz. Nice link-up play however from die Werkself who are by no means out of this game.
Beautiful move by Wolfsburg. Dzeko found Kahlenberg who crossed first-time, onto the head of Grafite but the Brazilian can only nod the ball into the arms of a grateful Rene Adler. This really is a high quality encounter to end the Saturday fixtures.
This time it is Dzeko who is denied by the veteran Finn. Just as he looked to be racing clear, the Bosnian is denied by a superb sliding tackle from Hyypia, who diverts the ball back to Adler.
Grafite storms through down the right-hand side but when it comes to decision time and squaring the ball for Dzeko, he hesitates a moment too long and Hyypia is well-placed to make a crucial interception.
We're underway in the second half. Both sides are unchanged.
The half-time whistle blows after barely three seconds of stoppage time. It's been another highly entertaining first-half of Bundesliga football with Diego's goal the difference after a shocking blunder from Rene Adler. Join me in fifteen minutes for the second half. 1-0 at the break for Wolfsburg.
Barnetta threatens to take on Riether before he then fools the defence with a reverse ball to Kadlec on the overlap but his cross is blocked behind for a corner.
Patrick Helmes has been quiet tonight and is thus afforded the chance to score from a free-kick in a central position, 25 yards from goal but he drills the shot well wide. DZEKO BIG CHANCE The Bosnian was put in by Josue but his left-foot volley is right at Adler who stands tall and makes an important, if straightforward save.
Grafite skipped past Hyypia, exposing the Finn's lack of mobility in his advancing years but he then overcooked his cross as it sailed over the head of Dzeko. Leverkusen go up the other end and Kadlec delivers a teasing cross, which half entices Hitz out of his goal but he eventually decides to leave it and Schaefer takes no chances, putting the ball behind for a corner.
Diego delivers a corner from the right-hand side which swings away from the goal and is headed clear by Manuel Friedrich. The ball works its way back to keeper Hitz. Excellent defending from Bayer.
Yellow CardTranquillo Barnetta
A wry smile from Sami Hyypia as he is ridiculously adjudged to have fouled Grafite when the Brazilian in fact took a tumble and conned the referee. Barnetta is booked for encroachment as he (deliberately) failed to retreat the full ten yards from the free-kick.
Barnetta's resulting free-kick is not scrambled away initially but eventually Barzagli finds touch via a Leverkusen player and Wolfsburg regain possession. Kadlec then tussles with Grafite who backed into him slightly but the Czech defender then cynically bundles the striker over as he looks to spin and escape his clutches.
It is notable just how narrow Wolfsburg are playing - when the ball is delivered upfield, there are huge swathes of the pitch unmanned due to the concentration of the play in the centre. Barzagli crunches into Derdiyok's shins and is very fortunate to escape a booking for a rather savage challenge.
Barnetta plays a piercing through ball over to the right wing, from one side of the field to the other. Derdiyok looks to come inside on his left peg but sees his shot blocked.
Diego's free-kick is delivered with typical pinpoint accuracy onto the head of Kjaer but the assistant referee rightly points out that at the point of delivery, two Wolfsburg players were offside.
That's more like it from Barnetta. His free-kick is curled onto the head of compatriot Eren Derdiyok whose looping header beats Hitz but fails to come down in time.
Almost another beautiful piece of interplay from Wolfsburg. Josue's ball is cushioned down for Dzeko via Grafite's chest but Grafite had again strayed offside.
The rather tranquil Barnetta tries a curling shot from outside the box but it sails over the goal of Marwin Hitz. Steve McClaren is furiously jotting down notes on the bench.
Adler partly redeems himself after a quite brilliant 1-2 between Josue and Diego, who is through on goal, opens his body out to shoot but Adler makes an excellent save to keep the score to 1-0.
Dzeko is down on the ground after being caught by Vidal. There didn't look to be a great deal of contact but after a minute or so, the Bosnian slowly helps himself to his feet.
Nearly the equaliser for Bayer! Sam played the ball inside to Reinartz who tried his luck from the edge of the area. The ball deflects off Barzagli and passes narrowly over the crossbar. Wolfsburg survive.
Dzeko comes inside and on the edge of the box ominously looks to shoot but his effort crashes against Hyypia and Bayer are spared when Grafite is correctly flagged for offside.
A brilliant 1-2 between Diego and Grafite was abruptly ended when the playmaker was strongly but fairly challenged by Stefan Reinartz who was prepared to take no prisoners on that occasion.
Diego, in acres of space and oozing confidence, finds Grafite but one-on-one with Friedrich, he miscontrols the ball before stumbling over.
Vidal fluffs his clearance but Reinartz comes to his rescue by blocking Schaefer's ensuing attempt at a cross and Leverkusen can break.
The home crowd call for a booking for Kadlec after he trips Diego but Thorsten Kinhoefer keeps his cards in his pocket for the time being.
This is the 27th game between Wolfsburg and Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and Diego's early strike ensures it will not become the first to end in a scoreless draw.
TORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR WOLFSBURG A horror show from Rene Adler!!! Brilliant through ball from Diego- Adler comes off his line, slices the clearance. Grafite then picks up the pieces and crosses into the middle and via a deflection he finds Diego who slots home into the corner! Wolfsburg lead against the run of play and Jupp Heynckes rightly shakes his head in disbelief.
Leverkusen have had the lion's share of the possession so far, with 69% of the ball and have settled well into proceedings, looking a little sharper than Wolfsburg in the opening eight minutes.
Kadlec intercepts Hasebe's pass but Riether is back covering and blocks the attempted cross.
Dzeko peels off down the left hand side but he is well tackled by Daniel Schwaab as he looks to come inside towards goal. Corner for Wolfsburg. Diego takes but it's into the arms of Rene Adler for a comfortable take.
Almost a quite magnificent goal for Leverkusen! From an innocous throw-in from Kadlec, Derdiyok flicks the ball towards goal with his heel and it catches Hitz by surprise, striking the crossbar much to the amazement of everyone inside the VW Arena.
Riether gets in behind Kadlec but his cross curls beyond the goal-line and it's a goal-kick to Bayer.
Riether clears the ball upfield towards Sami Hyypia, who it was revealed during the week is being lined up for a coaching role after he finishes playing next season. However, Bayer's sporting director Rudi Voeller stressed that is for the medium term and that they intend to extend the deal of Jupp Heynckes this Christmas.
Thorsten Kinhoefer gets us underway as Leverkusen kick off in their change blue kits. Wolfsburg are in white, with green trim.
Wolfsburg retain their diamond shape with the golden triangle of Diego, Dzeko and Grafite furthest forward. Marwin Hitz deputises for Diego Benaglio in goal and Riether reverts to right-back with Makoto Hasebe slotting in on the right-hand side of midfield. Leverkusen have gone for a bold 4-2-2-2 system with Stefan Reinartz and Arturo Vidal sitting deep, giving license to wingers Barnetta and Sidney Sam to bomb forward in support of another deadly strike duo - Eren Derdiyok and Patrick Helmes.
Wolfsburg: Hitz, Riether, Kjaer, Barzagli, Schafer, Josue, Hasebe, Kahlenberg, Diego, Dzeko, Grafite Leverkusen: Adler, Schwaab, Manuel Friedrich, Hyypia, Kadlec, Reinartz, Vidal, Sam, Barnetta, Derdiyok, Helmes
Guten Abend and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of this intriguing Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen at the VW-Arena. Steve McClaren's men have bounced back in the last few weeks after suffering three straight defeats but were fortunate to escape from Moenchengladbach with a point. Leverkusen have a whole host of injury worries but are in fourth spot and eyeing a win, which would take them above Hannover into the Champions League spots. I'm Gary Niblock and I'll be guiding you through the best of the action over the next two hours or so.
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