Revenge was the order of the day for Wolfsburg and their fans, but Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side had other ideas as they proved their superiority once again.
The plea for revenge was impossible to miss in the Volkswagen Arena as kick-off approached. Less than six months after Robert Lewandowski dismantled Wolfsburg in the most remarkable nine-minute spell of football the Bundesliga had ever seen, last year's top two went head-to-head.
Bayern also breezed past the Wolves a month after the 5-1 win at the Allianz, and so for Dieter Hecking's side - a team who has been playing well below expectations in the Bundesliga this season - the need to bite back was clear.
But once again, even in the build-up to their fourth meeting of the season, it was Bayern Munich's day. With the color red scattered around the stadium, the visiting fans celebrated the club's 116th birthday with a vibrant choreography in the away section. But in what was a mostly subdued first half, it was the Wolves who had the best chance.
Wolfsburg's chance to wound Bayern
The home side were producing more of the chances, despite having hardly any possession. Bayern were stalking their prey, biding their time, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Wolfsburg were not intimidated though. Neither goalkeeper was truly tested, but it was Marcel Schäfer, the goalscorer in Wolfsburg's 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin last week, who had the best opportunity.
A long ball into the box was superbly headed into Schäfer's path by Max Kruse, who outmuscled Joshua Kimmich in the air. Without a moment to think, Schäfer sent his effort goalwards on his favored left foot. But from six yards out, with the world's best goalkeeper only able to stand and watch, he dragged his shot agonizingly wide. It was in that moment that Bayern's victory loomed large.
Bayern's party begins
From the first minute of the second half, Bayern showed no sign of letting Wolfsburg off for the missed opportunity. Powering forward with all of their attacking outlets, the task was simple: win, like always.
Not long into the second 45 minutes, Thiago came on, with Franck Ribery following soon afterwards. The Frenchman, who has only recently made his return to the Bayern team following almost a year on the sidelines, became the impact player that Pep Guardiola was clearly crying out for.
Two minutes after Julian Draxler forced former Schalke teammate Neuer into a reflex save, the defending champions delivered. Ribery was involved in the build-up, as a high ball into the box found an unmarked Kinglsey Coman at the back-post. He could only score.
The Wolves were wounded and as is so often the case against Bayern, the opposition suffered from an inability to take their chances in decisive moments. From that moment on, the three points belonged to Bayern. It was simply a question of how many goals they wanted to score.
It turns out, two was more than enough. With just 15 minutes to play, Bayern ended the contest when Robert Lewandowski scored, rubbing salt into Wolfsburg's wounds. Ribery, involved once again, allowed Lewandowski to stamp his name on the scoresheet with a delicate finish, unnecessarily reminding the Wolfsburg fans just how clinical his finishing (still) is.
The Wolfsburg fans, though, never stopped singing. Despite a few early movers, the majority stayed to applaud what had been a fighting performance from their team. In the end, the Wolves became the hunted, as Bayern took hold of their prey and never let go.