Bochum and Gladbach were able to knock off Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim, respectively. Over at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Marco Rose’s RB held off visiting Heidenheim with a narrow 2-1 victory.
VfL Bochum trainer Thomas Letsch – the recipient of a contract extension this week – at long last has a home victory to celebrate 13 match-days into the 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign. Letsch’s Revierklub knocked off visiting VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on the Castroper Straße. Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac lost for the first time visiting Bochum. His current team’s problems with their away form continue. Wolfsburg have now lost five on the road this season.
Both coaches were surgical in making changes to their previous XIs. VfL trainer Letsch welcomed back attacker Matúš Bero back after his former Vitesse project tore a knee ligament on match-day six. Bero took the place of Lukas Daschner. Niko Kovac – having to do without Sebastiaan Bornauw due to a thigh injury – inserted Moritz Jenz into his back-three.
The Ruhrpott hosts appeared quite lively from the start as they pursued their first home win of the season. A sustained period of pressure over the course of the opening quarter-of-an-hour nearly saw Bochum take the lead through Bero and Takuma Asano. VfL keeper Koen Casteels also came close to scoring an own goal in the 14th. When the home side did take the lead, it came as little surprise.
Patrick Osterhage – on a fine run of form as of late – hooked in an excellent finish from 14 meters out in the 19th. Kevin Stöger and VfL skipper Anthony Losilla came close to doubling the advantage before defender Bernardo officially scored the 2-0 in the 39th. Letsch will be very pleased at both the fact that Bernardo scored his first Bundesliga goal in a Bochum shirt and the fact that his team improved their woeful record on set-pieces.
After Bernardo polished off Stöger corner, it appeared as if Bochum could not be stopped. Unfortunately for the Revierklub, Wolfsburg were able to pull a goal back against the run-of-play before the end of the half. Jonas Wind slipped Mattias Svanberg into the box at 45+1. The Swede took advantage of lapsed marking from all the Bochum actors to net the 1-2.
The second 45 featured far fewer highlights on both ends of the pitch. Letsch’s crew defended passionately while Kovac’s German Wolves seemed bereft of ideas. Fouls, substitution stoppages, and a prolonged review over a potential handball penalty involving Bernardo inhibited the flow. The Lower Saxon guests did turn up the heat in the closing minutes.
Defender Keven Schlotterbeck and keeper Manuel Riemann had to be on their toes to preserve the scoreline off late chances. The increased risk taken by the Autostädter nevertheless led to Bochum to score the deceive goal on a counter in the 87th. Substitutes Moritz Broni-Kwarteng and Christopher Antwi-Adjei combined on the 3-1. The Vonovia Ruhrstadion erupted in joy once the first home win of the season was confirmed.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga’s 15:30 kickoffs, the postponement of Bayern-Union Berlin due to heavy snowfall meant that there were only two other fixtures being played. Gladbach took out visiting Hoffenheim at Borussia Park to secure their third home win of the season. Hosting RB Leipzig also prevailed over visiting 1. FC Heidenheim by the same scoreline.