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Sports

Wolfsburg reach historic Champions League quarterfinal

In what was a timid second leg of the Last 16 tie between Wolfsburg and Gent, the Bundesliga side came out on top for a second time to reach the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in club history.

Wolfsburg 1-0 Gent (agg. 4-2)
(Schürrle 74')

Wolfsburg's historic march in the Champions League continued on Tuesday night as the Bundesliga side powered into their first ever quarterfinal, and fittingly Andre Schürrle scored the only goal of the game. The well-documented wobble in the final 10 minutes of the first leg saw them return 3-2 winners instead of 3-0 winners, but Dieter Hecking's side showed more than enough composure in the home leg and fully deserved to win their third consecutive game in seven days.

For Schürrle, it was perhaps a statement of intent. The former Chelsea winger has never been able to deliver more than fleetingly since joining Wolfsburg, but this week suggests a change. The 25-year-old scored a magnificent hat-trick against Hannover exactly a week ago before assisting in Wolfsburg's morale-boosting victory against Gladbach last Saturday. On Tuesday night, the World Cup winner capped off a superb seven days with a close-range finish that effectively decided an otherwise quiet Champions League game.

Max Kruse turned and shot wide in an even opening quarter of an hour, but Gent offered little more than a low effort flashed across the area. Joshua Guilavogui forced an excellent save from Matz Sels, but Wolfsburg were happy to play it safe and force Gent to take the initiative.

The visitors couldn't find a way through the in-form defensive partnership of Robin Knoche and Dante, as the home side continued to look comfortable. Sels denied Luiz Gustavo with a reflex save and then kept out from Schürrle, who appeared to have left his Bundesliga shooting boots at home. Ten minutes later, a superb block from Rami Gershon denied Schürrle again as the winger looked set to have his form replaced with frustration. Then, good work from Christian Träsch allowed Julian Draxler to whip in a pin-point cross that Schürrle applied the necessary finish to. With a few minutes left, Schürrle was given the standing ovation his week deserved.

Wolfsburg return to domestic duty against Hoffenheim on the weekend, but will have to wait until March 18 before they find out who their quarterfinal opponents will be.

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