VfL Wolfsburg 0 – 0 Besiktas: Bore Draw In Germany As Grafite Sees Red
German champions held at home in a dull encounter notable for a slap from a frustrated Brazilian.
After Manchester United’s earlier win in Moscow VfL Wolfsburg and Besiktas came into the game knowing a win could put them in prime position for the coveted second spot in Group B.
It was the home side who motored into early action in the Volkswagen Arena with prolific marksman Edin Dzekolooking particularly lively up front for the German champions.
The lanky Bosnian was a persistent threat in the opening 45 minutes and was the recipient of several fine crosses from Marcel Schafer making forays down the left hand channel.
Dzeko should have put Die Wolfe ahead in the ninth minute when he latched onto one such cross but although he was unmarked he blazed his header over the bar.
In the battle of the Brazilian strikers, Grafite for VfL and Bobo for Besiktas, it was the latter who looked the more imposing in the first half.
Bobo stood out for the Turks and went close on the half hour mark after a neat flick put him one one one with Benaglio only for the Swiss keeper to block bravely at his feet to keep the scores level.
Graifte on the other hand had an uneventful first half, a far cry from his hat-trick againstCSKA on match-day one, and he was kept quiet by a compact Besiktas defence.
For the Turks, Rustu Recber, was his usual unpredictable self. Now minus the face paint, the former Barcelona stopper made some excellent saves to compliment his urge for rushing out of goal for no apparent reason.
The colourful keeper was in the thick of things in the early stages of the second half and went walkabout to allow in Christian Gentner who missed the target with the goal at his mercy.
Moments later Dzeko had a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead when he skipped into the edge of the box and with the goal at his mercy he was denied by a last ditch tackle by the impressive Matteo Ferrari and his shot ricocheted off the post.
Experienced playmaker Nihat showed his range of passing for Besiktas during the second 45 and attempted to link up with Bobo but the Brazilian was starved of support up front and couldn’t take advantage of his team-mate’s accurate balls.
With the match seemingly slipping towards a dull conclusion in the final quarter it was left to Grafite to liven things up.
However he chose to do it with his arm instead of his feet and ended up seeing red for a frankly ridiculous piece of petulance.
Having endured a miserable evening the powerful Brazilian forward lashed out at IbrahimKas as they jostled in the box expecting a corner.
With a flick of his arm he slapped the defender in the face and Roberto Rosetti reached for his top pocket to send the forward off for an early bath.
Wolfsburg coach Armin Veh didn’t look too impressed as he was forced to shuffle things which ensured substitute Obafemi Martins would be forced to remain on the bench instead of trying to break his Champions League duck.
Despite having a man advantage the visitors seemed content to settle for a point and despite introducing forward Mert Nobre for Bobo they lacked the ambition to really go after the three points.
Nobre though was almost the hero right at the death when he found some space inside the box but he hacked his effort over the bar and he was subsequently adjudged to be in an offside position.
The game fizzled out with VfL frustrated not to capitalise on the early superiority and with some serious questions to be asked of a hot headed Grafite.