Wolfsburg beats Leverkusen for 1st Bundesliga win
BERLIN (AP) — Ricardo Rodriguez scored two goals and set up another as Wolfsburg defeated 10-man Bayer Leverkusen 4-1 in the Bundesliga for its first win of the season on Sunday.
The Swiss defender opened the scoring with a penalty in the eighth minute. Leverkusen right back Giulio Donati was sent off for conceding it by bringing down Junior Malanda, who was through on goal.
Josip Drmic equalized with his first goal for Leverkusen in the 29th, when he held off Rodriguez and clipped the ball past Diego Benaglio after Karim Bellarabi headed on a long kick-out from Bernd Leno.
Vieirinha restored the home side’s lead by scoring on his 50th Bundesliga appearance with a header from Rodriguez’ cross before the interval.
Rodriguez all but secured the result with a well-struck volley from Kevin de Bruyne’s corner in the 63rd, before substitute Aaron Hunt definitely settled it in the 81st.
“We wanted to show a reaction and we did that today,” said Rodriguez, referring to Wolfsburg’s 4-1 loss at Everton in the Europa League on Thursday. “We fought for 90 minutes. We have to carry on like that.”
Leverkusen was left to rue Donati’s sending off after missing the chance to go top with its first league loss of the season.
“I think it’s harsh to make such a decision that’s going to influence the game so significantly after five minutes,” Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said.
Schmidt’s side has not won in three competitive games after he started his tenure with five straight victories.
Cologne and Borussia Moenchengladbach played out a scoreless draw in a bad-tempered Rhineland derby later.
“There was a bit of spark, which I found good,” Moenchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl said. “Everything was kept within its limits.”
The best early chance fell to Pawel Olkowski in the 17th but Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved at the near post.
Gladbach improved later in the half and dominated possession but couldn’t find a way though the home side’s well-organized defense.
Max Kruse came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock after the interval only to see his header flash wide of the far post.
“I’m satisfied. It’s OK to take a point sometimes against an opponent like ’Gladbach,” said Cologne coach Peter Stoeger after his side’s third scoreless draw from four games. The other match was a victory, meaning Cologne remains undefeated on its return to the Bundesliga after two seasons in the second division.
“We’ve six points from four games, that’s in order,” Stoeger said.
There was trouble before the game with clashes between rival fans, news agency dpa reported. A police spokesman said one officer received slight injuries and around 50 to 60 supporters were arrested.
Paderborn leads the table on goal difference. The promoted side, which is playing its first Bundesliga season, defeated Hannover 2-0 on Saturday with Moritz Stoppelkamp scoring a record 83-meter (yard) goal.
Defending champion Bayern Munich was held to a 0-0 draw at Hamburger SV, while injury-hit Borussia Dortmund slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Mainz, also Saturday.