Bochum vs Wolfsburg: Pan’s the man for Bochum
A Miloš Pantović strike separated VfL Bochum and VfL Wolfsburg, with ‘Die Unabsteigbaren’ continuing their fine Bundesliga home form which has now seen them claim 74% of their points at the Ruhrstadion.
Despite ending 2021 with two successive defeats, without scoring in either, Bochum started the brighter and could count themselves unlucky not to have struck early. Pantović capitalised upon a bouncing ball in the Wolfsburg box and acrobatically volleyed goalwards, but Koen Casteels got down well to deny the Serbian. Wolfsburg were level on points with Bochum at the start of play and face similar relegation fears, although they came tantalisingly close to nosing ahead midway through the first half, when Ridle Baku’s sumptuous curling effort drifted agonisingly wide of the far post. There was nothing to separate the sides prior to kick off, and it remained that way at HT, with both Bochum and Wolfsburg lacking guile in the final third. Baku was continually the thorn in Bochum’s side, but he spurned two fantastic opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half to fire Wolfsburg ahead - although their new-found attacking intent was to be admired. He may have been denied in the first half, but Pantović wasn’t to be denied twice as he nicked in front of Casteels to head home from Gerrit Holtmann’s teasing delivery. From there on in, it was rather straightforward for Bochum, with Manuel Riemann’s goal remaining largely untroubled, extending Wolfsburg’s goalless run of competitive away action without a goal to 387 minutes. The fact ‘Die Wölfe’ have now lost eight competitive games in a row undoubtedly dents confidence further, and their dreams of securing European football now hang by a thread and look to be fading by the week.
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