Wolfsburg flourished without prize asset Kevin De Bruyne as they eased to a comprehensive 3-0 Bundesliga victory over Schalke.
De Bruyne was left out of Dieter Hecking’s squad for Friday’s match, with his proposed move to Manchester City seemingly on the brink of being completed.
However, Wolfsburg were able to cope without last term’s player of the year as they moved to the top of the table ahead of Saturday’s fixtures.
The hosts moved ahead when Bas Dost lashed home Christian Trasch’s right-wing cross after 18 minutes.
Schalke should have levelled through Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but the Netherlands striker blazed a shot over from Eric Choupo-Moting’s low delivery.
And Schalke were made to pay for his profligacy as their opponents pulled clear with two goals in three second-half minutes.
Ricardo Rodriguez converted from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after Luiz Gustavo had been felled.
Wolfsburg’s victory was then secured when Timm Klose met a corner with a sweet left-footed volley that Ralf Fahrmann was unable to keep out.