Champions League - Round of 16 - 1st Leg
KAA Gent2Wolfsburg3

KAA Gent 2-3 VfL Wolfsburg

Julian Draxler
Gent have never beaten a German side at home in European competition

Two late goals dragged Gent back from the brink in an enthralling Champions League last-16 tie against Wolfsburg.

The impressive Julian Draxler started and finished a rapid counter-attack to break the deadlock.

Draxler doubled his side's lead, taking advantage of poor defending to coolly chip Matz Sels, before Max Kruse guided home Christian Trasch's cross.

But Sven Kums' brilliant late strike and Kalifa Coulibaly's header gave the underdogs hope of progressing.

Relive Wolfsburg's victory over Gent

The visitors were in firm control when they led 3-0 lead after 60 minutes, but the Belgians fought back, displaying the spirit that saw them beat both Valencia and Lyon in the group stage.

But Wolfsburg's away goals, combined with their enviable home record - they won all three of this season's group games at the Volkswagen Arena, make the German cup winners favourites to progress.

The second leg takes place on 8 March.

Kalifa Coulibaly
Gent's substitutes made a big impact, with Coulibaly heading home Kenneth Saief's cross

Stepping into the unknown

Both teams were in alien territory having never progressed to this stage of the competition, but it is Gent's story which is most extraordinary.

Threatened with bankruptcy in 1999, they won their first domestic title last season and eliminated two of Europe's elite clubs in the group stage to become the first Belgian team to reach the knockout stages.

Gent's annual turnover of £24m is a fifth of Wolfsburg's and, while at times that financial gulf was apparent on the pitch, Hein Vanhaezebrouck's men showed the mental toughness their manager had repeatedly praised them for before the match.

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Premier League descends on Gent

Representatives of 13 Premier League clubs were at the game to watch the home side's leading scorer Laurent Depoitre, according to Gent president Ivan de Witte.

De Witte said he "can't name a price" for the 27-year-old, but while the striker showed glimpses of quality - a cute knockback for Thomas Foket and a great turn on the halfway line - it was another player who caught the eye.

Draxler, the man charged with replacing Kevin de Bruyne after the playmaker's departure to Manchester City, turned the tie in his team's favour.

He brilliantly beat his man on the halfway line to spark the move that led to his first goal, then nutmegged Stefan Mitrovic in the lead-up to his second.

After the match, the 22-year-old was asked about the Premier League, but an imminent move to England seems unlikely for a player who only joined Wolfsburg for £25m in the summer.

Man of the match - Julian Draxler

Julian Draxler
Draxler's influence faded towards the end of the match, but the German's well-taken goals illustrated why his club spent heavily to sign him

The stats you need to know

  • Draxler scored his first Champions League away goals since October 2013.
  • Draxler has scored in successive competitive appearances for the first time since May 2013.
  • Gent kept up their record of scoring in every Champions League game they have played in this season.

Match reaction

Wolfsburg playmaker Julian Draxler: "We played a very good game. The last two goals for Gent weren't so good, but we have all possibilities to go through to the next round.

"I'm always happy when I'm scoring and, of course, the Champions League is something special for me. I like to play in this tournament. Yes, it's a good result for us and if we play like that in the second leg we will go through."

Line-ups

KAA Gent

  • 1Sels
  • 32Foket
  • 23Nielsen
  • 13Mitrovic
  • 21Asare
  • 10Cardoso Neto
  • 14KumsBooked at 59mins
  • 77MilicevicSubstituted forSaiefat 61'minutes
  • 19Dejaegere
  • 27SimonSubstituted forMattonat 61'minutes
  • 9DepoitreSubstituted forCoulibalyat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Scapini de Almeida
  • 7Coulibaly
  • 8Matton
  • 15Saief
  • 18Deaux
  • 25Vandenbussche
  • 55Gershon

Wolfsburg

  • 28Casteels
  • 24JungSubstituted forSchürrleat 45+1'minutes
  • 31Knoche
  • 18Dante
  • 34Rodríguez
  • 22Luiz GustavoBooked at 47mins
  • 27Arnold
  • 8VieirinhaBooked at 48minsSubstituted forSchäferat 80'minutes
  • 15Träsch
  • 10Draxler
  • 11KruseSubstituted forPutaroat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Schäfer
  • 16Pinto
  • 17Schürrle
  • 20Grün
  • 32Putaro
  • 35Klinger
  • 38Azzaoui
Referee:
Svein Oddvar Moen
Attendance:
19,978

Match Stats

Home TeamKAA GentAway TeamWolfsburg
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home12
Away16
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, KAA Gent 2, VfL Wolfsburg 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, KAA Gent 2, VfL Wolfsburg 3.

Foul by Lasse Nielsen (KAA Gent).

Ricardo Rodríguez (VfL Wolfsburg) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, KAA Gent. Conceded by Christian Träsch.

Brecht Dejaegere (KAA Gent) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dante (VfL Wolfsburg).

Substitution

Substitution, VfL Wolfsburg. Leandro Putaro replaces Max Kruse.

Goal!

Goal! KAA Gent 2, VfL Wolfsburg 3. Kalifa Coulibaly (KAA Gent) header from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kenny Saief with a cross.

Attempt saved. Kalifa Coulibaly (KAA Gent) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Thomas Matton.

Offside, KAA Gent. Kenny Saief tries a through ball, but Kalifa Coulibaly is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Kenny Saief (KAA Gent) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Renato Neto (KAA Gent) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg).

Attempt saved. Brecht Dejaegere (KAA Gent) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sven Kums.

Renato Neto (KAA Gent) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg).

Attempt saved. Thomas Foket (KAA Gent) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kenny Saief.

Goal!

Goal! KAA Gent 1, VfL Wolfsburg 3. Sven Kums (KAA Gent) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Brecht Dejaegere.

Substitution

Substitution, KAA Gent. Kalifa Coulibaly replaces Laurent Depoitre.

Substitution

Substitution, VfL Wolfsburg. Marcel Schäfer replaces Vieirinha.

Attempt saved. Nana Asare (KAA Gent) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Thomas Matton.

Attempt missed. Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Kenny Saief (KAA Gent) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Maximilian Arnold (VfL Wolfsburg).

Brecht Dejaegere (KAA Gent) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg).

Foul by Brecht Dejaegere (KAA Gent).

Robin Knoche (VfL Wolfsburg) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Renato Neto (KAA Gent).

Maximilian Arnold (VfL Wolfsburg) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, KAA Gent. Kenny Saief tries a through ball, but Laurent Depoitre is caught offside.

Corner, KAA Gent. Conceded by Dante.

Attempt blocked. Sven Kums (KAA Gent) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg) hits the left post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right. Assisted by Maximilian Arnold with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, KAA Gent. Kenny Saief replaces Danijel Milicevic.

Substitution

Substitution, KAA Gent. Thomas Matton replaces Moses Simon.

Goal!

Goal! KAA Gent 0, VfL Wolfsburg 3. Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Christian Träsch with a cross.

Booking

Sven Kums (KAA Gent) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sven Kums (KAA Gent).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid65101931616
2PSG64111211113
3Shakhtar Donetsk6105714-73
4Malmö FF6105121-203

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolfsburg640296312
2PSV Eindhoven631287110
3Man Utd62227708
4CSKA Moscow611459-44

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Atl Madrid6411113813
2Benfica6312108210
3Galatasaray6123610-45
4FC Astana6042511-64

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City6402128412
2Juventus632163311
3Sevilla6204811-36
4B Mgladbach6123812-45

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona64201541114
2Roma61321116-56
3B Leverkusen6132131216
4BATE Borisov6123512-75

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bayern Munich65011931615
2Arsenal6303121029
3Olympiakos6303613-79
4Dinamo Zagreb6105314-113

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea64111331013
2Dynamo Kiev632184411
3FC Porto631298110
4Maccabi Tel-Aviv6006116-150

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg6501136715
2KAA Gent631287110
3Valencia620459-46
4Lyon611459-44
View full Champions League tables

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