Wolfsburg’s hopes of a victorious end to the season remain alive after a Maximilian Arnold-inspired 4-0 win at third-tier Arminia Bielefeld set up a DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund.
Dieter Hecking’s team had been in the hunt for honours in both the UEFA Europa League and Bundesliga before their campaign threatened to unravel, but Wednesday’s routine triumph leaves just Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund standing between Wolfsburg and silverware.
While Dortmund endured a testing semi-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, needing a penalty shoot-out to prevail, Wolfsburg never looked in danger of such troubles after Maximilian Arnold’s eighth-minute opener.
Luiz Gustavo nodded in their second with 31 minutes played before a quick-fire double early in the second half – Ivan Perisic’s 51st-minute tap-in quickly followed by Arnold’s second.
Wolfsburg will now look to prevent Klopp ending his Dortmund tenure in triumphant fashion in the Berlin final on May 30.
Few would have expected Bielefeld to offer much resistance to their Bundesliga opponents and somewhat unsurprisingly they only managed to remain level until the eighth minute.
Daniel Caligiuri bided his time on the edge of the area and eventually picked out the late run from Arnold, who emphatically placed his first-time effort into the top-left corner from 16 yards.
Wolfsburg continued to dictate proceedings, but a lapse in concentration at the back allowed the hosts a chance to break down the right in the 23rd minute.
The move ended with Fabian Klos’ eventual shot appearing to strike the arm of Ricardo Rodriguez right on the edge of the box, only for referee Tobias Welz to ignore Bielefeld’s furious protests.
And Wolfsburg made the most of that let-off just after the half-hour mark.
Bas Dost nodded Rodriguez’s pinpoint free-kick delivery back into the danger area and Luiz Gustavo was on hand to head past the helpless Alexander Schwolow.
For all Wolfsburg’s first-half dominance, they were almost pegged back right after the interval.
Diego Benaglio misjudged Florian Dick’s deep free-kick and was only rescued by the crossbar before Klos sliced over the empty net from the rebound.
Any confidence attained from that double chance was swiftly dashed by the visitors in the 51st minute.
Perisic tapped in at the far post following a clever pass courtesy of Caligiuri and the German was instrumental again four minute later, causing havoc in the area before Arnold smashed in from point-blank range.
Wolfsburg’s quick double ended the contest and, although a late injury to Marcel Schafer reduced them to 10 men, Hecking’s men cruised into only their second DFB-Pokal final.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!