Julian Draxler’s goal was enough for VfL Wolfsburg to claim all three points in a scrappy Champions League encounter with CSKA Moscow at Volkswagen Arena on Tuesday.
- Wolfsburg 1 CSKA Moscow 0
- Draxler strikes for Die Wolfe
- The Germans hold out for a narrow win
Neither side could really settle into a rhythm, and the game produced few clear-cut opportunities.Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost had a couple of good opportunities, the first a strong header that he couldn't keep down before he took down long ball over the top with a perfect first touch, but dawdled before taking his shot, allowing the defender to get back and steal it off his toe.
Wolfsburg got their goal through playmaker Julian Draxler, who met a cross from Max Kruse with a strong downwards header that was straight at CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. The Russia international could only parry the effort back into his path, and the Germany international buried it on his second attempt to give Wolfsburg a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Although both sides had opportunities to find another goal in the second half none of the chances were taken. The Russian side failed to convert any bright moments of play into a finishing opportunity while Andre Schurrle missed the couple of chances that came his way as Die Wolfe held out for a narrow and unimpressive victory.
The match started off quite slowly, with both teams struggling to settle into a rhythm, while most of the passing was scrappy and disjointed.
Wolfsburg had the first real opportunity through Dutch striker Bas Dost when the tall centre-forward got on the end of a deep, bending cross but was unable to direct it under the crossbar.
A few minutes later Die Wolfe’s midfielders Daniel Caligiuri and Julian Draxler combined well around the opponent's box, but the move broke down.
CSKA had Russia international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to thank when Andre Schurrle linked up with Draxler to break into the box, but he couldn’t squeeze his effort past the keeper, who was quickly back to his feet to stop the follow-up effort from falling to Dost.
Although CSKA were second-best for the most part, they had a few opportunities of their own, such as Ahmed Musa’s strong run into space that almost caught the German side out. The Nigerian galloped past defenders before squaring the ball into no-man’s land, before Alan Dzagoev volleyed off-target from a cross.
The side from Moscow were let off again by Dost. The striker did well to bring a deep, aerial through-ball down with his first touch, but he took too long to get his shot away, allowing the defender to get back and make a challenge.
But Die Wolfe would make the breakthrough eventually through Draxler. The number 10 player the ball out to Max Kruse and was in the box to meet the cross. Akinfeev saved his downward header but could only parry it back into the youngster’s path, and he finished on the second attempt.
Wolfsburg had a number of chances to double their lead, and Schurrle probably should have done so in the 75th minute when he picked up possession on the left side of the box and jinxed his way between two defenders before dragging his shot wide into the side netting, and was substituted off for Maximilian Arnold soon afterwards.
Last season’s Bundesliga runners-up were unable to find that second goal while CSKA struggled to find an equaliser, so Wolfsburg were able to hold on to a their valuable lead to win the match 1-0.