Wolfsburg 1-0 CSKA Moskva
Julian Draxler's first goal for his new club helped Wolfsburg get their second group stage campaign off to a winning start.
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- Wolfsburg edge out CSKA Moskva in first Group B outing
- Julian Draxler scores only goal of the game at second attempt (40)
- Midfielder's first for the club since summer switch from Schalke
- CSKA have now lost all five matches in Germany
- Next games: CSKA Moskva v PSV, Manchester United v Wolfsburg (30 September)
Wolfsburg's second UEFA Champions League campaign got off to a winning start as Julian Draxler opened his account for the club with the only goal against CSKA Moskva.
Wolfsburg – who beat CSKA 3-1 in their first match in the competition in 2009/10 – began brightly and were the more creative side throughout the opening period.
Draxler's clever reverse pass unlocked the visiting defence in the 25th minute, with only Igor Akinfeev's left boot preventing André Schürrle breaking the deadlock.
Although Alan Dzagoev blazed over when in space on the edge of the area to offer notice of CSKA's counterattacking threat, Wolfsburg were the likelier scorers and it took a perfectly timed recovery tackle from Georgi Schennikov to thwart Daniel Caligiuri after the Wolves midfielder had sprung the offside trap.
Two minutes later, Wolfsburg were ahead. The German team might be light on UEFA Champions League experience as a club but 21-year-old summer signing Julian Draxler is already an old hand after four years in the competition with Schalke.
He duly found room to meet Max Kruse's left-wing cross and, though Akinfeev was equal to his downward header, the rebound was unceremoniously slammed in.
Nicklas Bendtner nodded wide in the early stages of the second half, while Schürrle skipped inside two tackles only to drag his shot past the near post as the Bundesliga outfit sought a clinching second. Akinfeev fielded Draxler's 20-metre effort to keep CSKA in contention, but Wolfsburg were rarely troubled.
Dieter Hecking, Wolfsburg coach
It's a deserved win. We were very focused and were the more proactive team. I didn't expect that, as this was our first Champions League match in six years. The team played well and Julian Draxler also played better than he has in the Bundesliga so far. Today he gave back a bit of what we have invested in him.
I'm a bit upset we didn't take our chances to get the second goal. The team deserved it, but ultimately it's all about getting three points and we did our job. This group could be very exciting.
Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
I'm quite satisfied with how we played, but I'm disappointed that we didn't take the opportunities we carved out.