The result was significantly better than the performance. VfL Wolfsburg started the new Champions League season with a 0-0 win at French champions OSC Lille. One of them looked very carefully.
Lille – The most important man at VfL Wolfsburg was a compatriot of coach Mark van Bommel and is called Kevin Blom.
The Dutchman intervened twice as a video referee in favor of VfL in this Champions League opener and saved the league leader of the Bundesliga a 0-0 at OSC Lille on Tuesday evening.
First he took back a goal from the French champions in the 48th minute. And then he corrected a penalty decision by the actual referee Danny Makkelie in the seventh minute of stoppage time. “It wasn’t easy for the video referee. It depends on centimeters. Fortunately, he saw everything,” said van Bommel.
Video referee intervenes twice
The intervention of the man on the screen was justified in both cases. Before the alleged 1-0 by Jonathan David, the ball had just crossed the touchline. And Wolfsburg’s Josuha Guilavogui fouled the former HSV professional Amadou Onana in the penultimate action of the game outside and not within the penalty area. When John Anthony Brooks (62) was sent off, the video assistant was not needed. The referee saw the VfL defender’s handball all by himself.
In the end, it was mainly this yellow-red card that made van Bommel ignore all Wolfsburg weaknesses that evening. “If you can’t win, you have to play to zero. And when you play against the French champions for 35 minutes and get a point, then you have to be satisfied,” said the 44-year-old. “Even if we didn’t have any chances to score, there was a team on the pitch where you can see that you won’t win that easily against them.” Not even if the opponent has a goal scoring ratio of 17: 2.
On the first match day of this Champions League season, van Bommel’s prediction seems to be confirmed: This Group G is probably the most balanced of all. The second game between FC Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg (1-1) didn’t have a winner either. “There are four very good but not overpowering teams,” said Lille’s coach Jocelyn Gourvennec.
The five-time Europa League winner Sevilla will be VfL’s next opponent on September 29th. Before that, the Bundesliga continues on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt with former Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner. The Austrian was the first to lead the “Wolves” into the Champions League last season.
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