Julian Draxler’s first goal for his new club helped Wolfsburg get their second group stage campaign off to a winning start.
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, and only Igor Akinfeev’s left boot prevented André Schürrle opening the scoring.
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-time recovery tackle from Georgi Schennikov to thwart Daniel Caligiuri after the midfielder had sprung the offside trap.
Two minutes later, Wolfsburg were ahead. The German side 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 space 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 headed 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 home team sought a clinching second. Akinfeev fielded Draxler’s 20-metre effort to keep CSKA in contention, but Wolfsburg were rarely troubled.