Wolves give Allofs a winning start at Hoffenheim
BERLIN (AFP) –
VfL Wolfsburg celebrated their first Bundesliga win under new director of sport Klaus Allofs on Sunday with a 3-1 victory at Hoffenheim while leaders Bayern Munich finished the weekend eight points clear.
After 13 years as Werder Bremen’s general manager, Allofs announced on Wednesday he had moved to the 2009 German champions and Wolves earned their third win in four league games to move up to 13th and away from trouble.
With 48 professionals to cut from the enormous squad he has inherited from ex-Wolves boss Felix Magath, Allofs has plenty of work to do and must decide if caretaker coach Lorenz-Guenther Koestner gets the job permanently.
“I need to talk to the players, sit down and decide over the coming weeks,” said Allofs when asked about his plans to trim the squad.
“We have a good trainer and a good training team, we won’t make a decision quickly, we need to plan long-term,” he added when asked about Koestner.
Wolfsburg named the same team for the third straight game, something they have not done since since April 2009.
The guests needed just seven minutes to open the scoring as Japan midfielder Makoto Hasebe headed home before Dutch striker Bas Dost added the second on 24 minutes then defender Naldo netted from an indirect free-kick on 77 minutes.
Swiss striker Edin Derdiyok scored a late consolation goal for Hoffenheim, who drop to 14th.
Earlier, ten-man Werder Bremen came from behind to beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-1 at home.
It has been a turbulent week for Bremen as Allofs quit after 13 years working alongside coach Thomas Schaaf, but Werder won as Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne – on loan from Premier League side Chelsea – hit the 82nd-minute winner.
“It was clear in advance that the events of the past week wouldn’t impact on the team, you could see that from the way they fought,” said Schaaf, whose team finished seventh with Duesseldorf now 16th, amongst the bottom three.
“Fortuna had lots of ball possession, but still didn’t do much with it”.
Bayern had their five-match winning away streak broken on Saturday as they were held 1-1 at ten-man Nuremberg.
Mario Mandzukic’s early goal for Munich was cancelled out by a strike from Nuremberg’s former Bayern midfielder Markus Feulner, but the point Bayern took from their Bavarian neighbours proved to be enough to extend their lead.
Second-placed Schalke 04 slumped to a 2-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen with Germany midfielder Andre Schuerrle and striker Stefan Kiessling scoring either side of half-time.
Royal Blues’ coach Huub Stevens angrily insisted he could have changed nine players during the game and sent both midfielder Lewis Holtby and Peru striker Jefferson Farfan to the dressing room after pulling them off with 30 minutes left.
Germany’s top clubs are all bidding for top place in their respective Champions League groups this week as Schalke 04 host Olympiakos, while Bayern are at Spain’s Valencia and Borussia Dortmund travel to Amsterdam to face Ajax.
There were three goals in the first 15 minutes at Dortmund as the defending champions prepared for their trip to Holland by running out 3-1 winners over second-from-bottom Greuther Fuerth.
Eintracht Frankfurt stayed up with the league leaders in third by claiming a 4-2 win at home to bottom side Augsburg having taken an early 2-0 lead.
A second-half own goal by Dutch defender Roel Brouwers handed VfB Stuttgart a 2-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach, while Hamburg enjoyed a 1-0 win at home to Mainz as South Korea striker Son Heung-Min scored the winner.