Saint-Etienne (AP) - VfL Wolfsburg has taken the next step towards the knockout round in the Europa League. In the supposedly toughest away match of the preliminary round Group I, the Bundesliga club reached a 1-1 (1-1) at French champions AS Saint-Etienne.
Before the two duels with the Belgian team KAA Gent, VfL are in good form as leaders. The early leadership of the French by ex-Gladbach Timothée Kolodziejczak (13) equalized Wolfsburg William just two minutes later (15.). Before the two duels with Belgian club KAA Gent, VfL are in good shape with four points from two games in this competition. Overall, he is under his new coach Oliver Glasner now even unbeaten nine competitive matches.
Even with one of the most popular clubs in France, the Europa League attracted only 24,815 fans in the designed for 42,000 visitors EM Stadium Geoffroy-Guichard. But they made noise as elsewhere twice the number of spectators. At the announcement of the team line-ups, the supporters of "ASSE" loudly whistled to every single Wolfsburg player - except for one: VfL captain Josuha Guilavogui used to play for more than eight years for Saint-Etienne and is still very popular there. He invited 70 friends and family members to play this special game for him.
From the loud atmosphere, the Wolfsburg could not impress. Saint-Etienne had with Tunisia's World Cup player Wahbi Khazri and France's Under-21 international Arnaud Nordin two very agile and tricky offensive players and was also noticeably motivated after his disastrous false start in Ligue 1 and Europa League. But the VfL defended from the outset focused and consistent - except for the failed fist defense of goalkeeper Pavao Pervan before the 1: 0 of the French.
That did not change anything when defensive boss Jeffrey Bruma was hit by his opponent Robert Beric (40) and had to continue playing with a head bandage. Only in the opponent's penalty area was the Bundesliga club rarely seen. Felix Klaus, who was injured for the injured Admir Mehmedi, broke twice on his right-hand side (3./6.). Shortly after the break, he also had the best chance of VfL (46th).
This opportunity was like a signal for the French: Wolfsburg kept them even further away from their own goal in the second half. Only in the last 15 minutes, Saint-Etienne put pressure on again, nearly forcing Marcel Tisserand's own goal (75 '). With the 1: 1 VfL could end up living significantly better than the further winless ex-club of Michel Platini.
Homepage of VfL Wolfsburg
The Europa League at uefa.com
The group I
Schedule of the VfL Wolfsburg
The Europa League squad of VfL Wolfsburg
The European Cup balance sheet of VfL Wolfsburg
The Europa League squad from AS Saint-Etienne
Homepage of AS Saint-Etienne
Information about the game