How good a football team is at the moment is not only shown by their dominant appearance, how good they pass each other or the number of times they score. It’s also the way they score that can tell us a lot about trust. The cup semi-final match between Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg on Easter Sunday provided illustrative material in various scenes.
19 min: Gilles Rurd, initially unguarded by the Munich team, got the ball and only turned before firing with precision and power from 20 meters to make it 1-0. 61st minute: Roard dribbles their captors again, this time in the penalty area, the ball is accepted again very calmly, left and right, with the goal of advancing 2-1. 80 min: Tabea Waßmuth played in the run, flicking the ball without hesitation to hit the goal 3-1 with her weaker left foot.
This match between the two best German teams in women’s football was fraught with constant rivalry and what was at stake for both of them. And it became evidence of the excellent form the Wolfsburg women are in – just in time when title decisions are imminent. “We’re at a point where we’re in full flow and we’re showing maximum conviction,” said soccer coach Tommy Strutt. “I think that hurts our opponents.”
It was not that Bayern Munich did not fight hard against defeat in front of 2,330 spectators at the Campus Stadium. Especially after the 1-1 draw (penalty kick by Jovana Damnjanovic, 52nd place), the Munich team turned up the heat. But they faced an opponent that seemed beyond doubt – which is now allowed to tackle a more offensively big term: the trio. For the second time after 2013, the women of Wolfsburg can succeed in winning the championship, cup and Champions League.
More than 96,000 spectators could come to the Camp Nou on Friday against FC Barcelona
In the previous confrontation between the two clubs, they beat Bayern 6-0 and thus almost certainly decided the championship. VfL leads the Bundesliga with three games remaining with four points. Even in Munich, they do not believe in such a great football miracle that Wolfsburg is not enough to get the title.
So this season has been a disappointment for Bayern Munich. The ultimate goal was to defend the title in the league, and there was always hope for more. Now the Munich women are left empty-handed when it comes to awarding prizes. “We’ve bet too far in the past few weeks,” Linda Dallman said. Not only coach Jens Scheuer – who was represented by assistant coach Jerome Reisacher on Sunday because he was suffering from Corona – should ask himself: How successful the team will be against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals. At the end of March and in the applause against Wolfsburg at the beginning of April, did not many players with Covid-19 withdraw?
Rather than being able to fight for finals and succeed themselves, Bayern have to watch how Wolfsburg at the national level cement the strength structure that the Munich team wants to break. Wolfsburg is the favorite in the cup final, has seven titles in a row, and the club is a force here. On May 28, Bayer Leverkusen and Turbine Potsdam face the winner of Monday’s game (6.30pm, Sky).
And this Friday (6.45 p.m., Dazn) there really is that duel in which the background alone should inspire a superlative performance. In the semi-finals of the Champions League, the Wolfsburg women travel to FC Barcelona. Tickets sold out quickly, so more than 96,000 spectators could come to the Camp Nou. “If you win in this way against Bayern Munich, then this is the next obstacle to the tailwind,” goalkeeper Almoth Schulte said in light of the task ahead. “We bring courage to the pitch and that’s why there’s not much room for doubts. So far we’ve had a great season, who would have thought we could do that?”
“It’s great to see what happened,” goalkeeper Schulte said of the turmoil in Serie A
Wolfsburg VFL started with a double turmoil. The 33-year-old, who previously worked for Dutch club Twente, has taken over the footballers with an almost entirely new coaching staff. There have also been several changes – including from Roord and Waßmuth, who is the Champions League top scorer by nine goals ahead of Barcelona’s world footballer Alexia Putellas (8). “It was a completely new start and a process that I haven’t had at Wolfsburg Football Club yet,” said Schulte, who has been with the club since 2013. “It’s great to see what came out of it.”
But in the beginning, the group stage in the first division was riddled with bumps, in the decisive match in mid-December, the team beat Chelsea 4-0 only to advance from third place to the quarter-finals. Looking back, this looks like an initial spark for the Wolfsburg women’s race – which they certainly want to continue. But to do so, they will have to improve on their past performance and surpass themselves. Triple-winner Barcelona reached the cup semi-finals and won the Super Cup, as well as the Premier League early – by 22 points with a balance of 146: 8 goals. So you’re up against a team that’s in flux as well and has at least the same amount of confidence.