In a match of first against second in the Bundesliga, it was Wolfsburg that looked like the team 11 points clear at the top of the table. They ran wild all over Bayern Munich on the day, picking up a major victory in their Bundesliga campaign.
The emotion of the Wolfsburg players and fans was on full display before kickoff as both teams acknowledged a minute of applause for Wolfsburg forward Junior Malanda who passed away earlier this month following a car accident. Both teams wore black armbands in his memory.
Flipping the script that everyone has been writing about the Bundesliga on it's head, it was Wolfsburg that struck first after just four minutes. Bastian Schweinsteiger slipped at the top of the Wolfsburg box before receiving a pass, and Die Wölfe launched the counter. The ball was sprayed wide to Daniel Caligiuri who found Kevin De Bruyne streaking up the middle behind Jérôme Boateng. The Belgian slid the ball to his left to a wide open Bas Dost who easily put his shot past Manuel Neuer.
While Bayern controlled possession as they normally do, Wolfsburg continued to quickly transition from defense to offense with some impressive counter attacks. Around the half hour mark, while Bayern had nearly 70% possession, their quality chances created were roughly equal with Wolfsburg.
Bayern would find themselves down 2-0 at the half, on a brilliant volley from Dost. Ricardo Rodriguez's free kick was cleared out by Robert Lewandowski, but it only went as far as the top of the box to Dost. The Dutch forward struck the ball while it was near his waist, and the ball went into the back of the net off of the corner post.
Wolfsburg came right out of gates to start the second half and nearly had a third goal, but Caligiuri's shot was wide of the goal. In the 53rd minute, they did make it 3-0. De Bruyne was played through Bayern's ridiculously high defensive line and went one-on-one with Neuer. He placed his shot in the back of the net to to really put Bayern in a hole.
However, two minutes later, Bayern pulled one back. Juan Bernat dribbled into the penalty area in the left hand side. His cross was deflected by Naldo right back into his body. Bernat composed himself and scored his shot to make it 3-1 in favor of the hosts.
Arjen Robben brought a big save out of Diego Benaglio in the 71st minute with a rocket free kick. The Swiss international tipped the ball over the crossbar to keep Wolfsburg's advantage at two. The soccer gods smiled on De Bruyne once again in the 73rd minute. He easily ran past the Bayern defense to receive a ball over the top from Maxi Arnold. De Bruyne would proceed to break Dante's ankles and put the ball past Neuer to make it 4-1.
Benaglio once again came up huge to stonewall Robben from point blank range in the 83rd minute. The Dutchman though he surely was going to score, but Benaglio made himself big to keep Robben off the scoresheet.
The match certainly wasn't fun from a Bayern perspective, but the lead in the Bundesliga is still 8 points. The club plays Tuesday at home against Schalke and next Saturday away to Stuttgart. Pep will need to get the team prepared to take six points from those matches.
Wolfsburg (4-1) Bayern Munich
Wolfsburg: Bas Dost (4, 45+2), Kevin De Bruyne (53, 73)
Bayern: Bernat (55)
Bayern XI (3-4-3): Neuer; Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Rode (51 Weiser), Alonso, Schweinsteiger, Bernat; Robben, Müller (71 Götze); Lewandowski (71 Pizarro)