Wolfsburg and Fortuna Düsseldorf took a point each from their clash at the Volkswagen Arena, in a scrap to pull well away from the bottom. Despite possessive dominance in the 1-1 draw, Wolfsburg never even took a lead.
It was a battle to stay clear of the basement at the Volkswagen Arena in Friday evening soccer, as Wolfsburg played host to fellow bottom-half Bundesliga dwellers Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Wolfsburg made a bright start, Venezuelan Yohandry Orozco carving out chances down the left moments into the match. His short ball across the box ball found forward Ivica Olic, who simply wasn't ready and fluffed it.
Düsseldorf had a half-chance after 12 minutes, Mathis Bolly trying a shot on goal - right into Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio's hands.
However, Wolfsburg lived up well to their duty as hosts, being the far-more attacking side. The visitors really had to batten down the hatches amid a Wolfsburg barrage some 20 minutes in. Rodriguez whacked the Düsseldorf post with a power shot on 19 minutes, the closest Wolfsburg had got so far.
Persistence should have paid with wave after wave of Wolfsburg attack, but somehow Düsseldorf managed to keep things at the back just tight enough .
Then came the opener - completely against the run of play. Australian winger Robbie Kruse escaped down the left, taking the ball to the by-line and delivering an aerial cut-back to Bolly. The Norwegian lashed the ball upwards into Benaglio's net, putting the visitors unexpectedly ahead.
Wolves look to bite back
By half time, Wolfsburg had 71 percent possession - and nine shots on goal compared with two for Düsseldorf. And yet, by sitting pragmatically tight, the visiting Rhinelanders had edged ahead with staggering efficiency.
Not that that was ever going to radically change attacking tactics employed by Wolfsburg - they just had to go at it all the harder. If anything, an emboldened Düsseldorf seemed readier than ever to attack and open up just a little more.
Indeed, there was space enough at the back on 51 minutes for the Wolves' Orozco to place a slick through ball to Olic, which the Croatian to converted clinically to equalize.
Soon after that, Bolly fired a shot across Wolfsburg's bow, running part way through the defense to drill just wide. A beautiful curling shot from on-loan Robert Tesche smashed into the Wolfsburg crossbar, sounding the alarm bells again for the home side just ahead of the 70-minute mark.
The game turned into a more open version of the first half, Wolfsburg plugging away but seemingly lacking the necessary ideas. Indeed, there were moments ahead of the final whistle when a countering Düsseldorf threatened to pull off a shock win.
Scorer Olic said the absence of suspended playmaker Diego had proved important. "We had the game under control and then we conceded a goal through a counterattack," said Olic. "That caused us an upset. Without Diego, it was very hard."
Düsseldorf midfielder Adam Bodzek believed the draw was fair. "With a bit of luck we could have won, with a little bad luck we could have lost," said Bodzek.
In the end, a point went to each team, bumping Düsseldorf up from 15th place to 13th to tail the Wolves who stay in 12th. In Saturday’s big football clash, Bayer Leverkusen play host to Bayern Munich. Earlier in the day, Freiburg pay a visit to second place Borussia Dortmund.