FC Augsburg ran out deserved 2-1 winners on Saturday afternoon against Wolfsburg. Daniel Didavi put the visitors in front in the 40th minute thanks to a fumble by Marwin Hitz, but Michael Gregoritsch (51’) and Alfred Finnbogason (78’) managed to pull it back in favour of FCA to ensure that all three points stayed in Augsburg.
Head coach Manuel Baum made one change to the side that succumbed to Bayern 3-0 last week. Erik Thommy started in place of Marcel Heller. It was Thommy’s first ever Bundesliga start in his career. On the flip side, Paul Verhaegh made his first trip to the WWK ARENA since leaving Augsburg after a seven year spell at the club this past summer.
Augsburg started the game quickly, putting the visitors under a lot of pressure from the outset. Daniel Baier had the game’s first shot after being played in from the right hand side, but Koen Casteels made a comfortable save. In the eleventh minute, the game was turned on its head. Alfred Finnbogason found himself closing down on the Wolfsburg goal, but he was brought down from behind by Maximilian Arnold. After the referee made the initial decision to give Arnold a yellow card, he changed it to a red after consulting the Video Assistant. Wolfsburg reacted by sitting deeper and forcing FCA to attack them, looking to catch them on the break. Such an instance led to a golden chance for Divock Origi when he was picked out in the box by Mario Gomez, although the dangerous attacker headed just wide.
Wolfsburg’s defense played very resiliently, and it was difficult for Augsburg to break it down. They favoured wing play to try and get the opener, but Wolfsburg defended it well. Michael Gregoritsch had a fantastic chance when he was played in by a long diagonal pass from Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, although the Austrian fired over (34’). Then came FCA’s best opportunity of the first half. An Augsburg counter-attack saw the ball find its way to Alfred Finnbogason, who was alone in front of Casteels. The outrushing goalkeeper made himself big, however, and pulled off a sublime save.
At the other end of the pitch, Wolfsburg took the lead out of nowhere. Daniel Didavi had a go from long range which travelled straight towards the waiting arms of Marwin Hitz. However, the usually reliable Hitz unfortunately fumbled the ball into his own net (40’). Caiuby had the chance to equalise just before the break, but he could only find the side netting. FCA would head into the dressing room down a goal.
Finnbogason rewards Augsburg’s offensive persistence
It didn’t take long for the home side to get the equaliser, which came courtesy of Michael Gregoritsch (51’). The goal made up for a huge miss a few minutes prior, when the Austrian skied the ball over an open net. Wolfsburg’s chances were few and far between in their effort to restore the lead, although Divock Origi did test Marwin Hitz from range – the Switzerland international’s hands stayed strong this time. From the resulting corner Augsburg found themselves in a 5-on-1 situation which ended in Caiuby being brought down in the penalty area. The referee decided initially to give a penalty, although he would eventually go back on that initial decision following a consultation with the Video Assistant (61’).
Finally, after a long period of Augsburg pressure, Alfred Finnbogason gave the home side the well deserved lead (78’). FCA would not give it up and came away with another crucial three points.