City outclass Gladbach in dominant display

Julian Draxler makes Champions League impact for Wolfsburg


Julian Draxler's first-half goal made the difference for Wolfsburg in their Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow at the Volkswagen Arena.

Draxler was signed from Schalke at the end of the transfer window as Kevin De Bruyne headed for Manchester City and the Germany midfielder immediately made his presence felt in Wolfsburg's first Champions League campaign since 2009.

The 21-year-old sent Ricardo Rodriguez charging down the left and raced into the box to meet his team-mate's cross with a thumping header straight at Igor Akinfeev, but Draxler reacted quicker than anyone to turn in the rebound, earning a 1-0 win for the German side.

Wolfsburg's win should have been more comfortable as CSKA were forced to defend for long periods. The Bundesliga outfit's next Group B game comes at Manchester United in two weeks' time.

Bas Dost sent an early header over the CSKA crossbar and Luiz Gustavo had a shot blocked as Wolfsburg increased the pressure on their Russian visitors.

CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was the busiest man on the pitch as he stopped efforts from Andre Schurrle, Max Kruse, Gustavo and Daniel Caligiuri, and Wolfsburg must have wondered if the breakthrough would come.

But Draxler's goal gave them a huge lift in the 40th minute, and Nicklas Bendtner should have doubled Wolfsburg's lead soon after half-time when he planted his unmarked header wide from 12 yards.

CSKA had carried little threat in front of goal but Zoran Tosic finally brought home goalkeeper Diego Benaglio into action midway through the second half, although the stop was little more than routine.

Schurrle's right-footed effort soon brought another save from Akinfeev but the game was more of an even contest and Tosic was beginning to pose problems for Wolfsburg.

The Serbian wriggled through with 15 minutes remaining but again his shot lacked power and Benaglio made a comfortable save.

Draxler might have grabbed his second of the game with 13 minutes remaining but Akinfeev smothered his 20-yard shot and Sergei Ignashevich twice blocked efforts from Caligiuri to keep the score at 1-0.

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