A dramatic late Daniel Ginczek goal sealed Wolfsburg’s shock 2-1 win over Schalke on Saturday as video assistant referee interventions dominated the opening weekend of the Bundesliga season.
After Nabil Bentaleb’s late penalty cancelled out Wolfsburg’s first-half goal by US defender John Anthony Brook, Ginzcek sealed a dramatic win by sweeping home the 94th-minute winner against Schalke, last season’s runners-up in Germany’s top flight.
However, the game was dominated by chaotic scenes midway through the second-half at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena as VAR interventions led to a flurry of card reversals.
Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco later claimed he was insulted during a heated exchange with match referee Patrick Ittrich over the interventions.
“It was very one-sided, I did not have much to say,” Tedesco replied when asked what he said to Ittrich.
“I asked the fourth official a question – a normal question – and then I was insulted.
“This means that the conversation was not very respectful from my point of view.
“Emotions are part of the game – even for the referee, which makes it okay.”
Schalke were reduced to 10 men when defender Matija Nastasic was sent off for going in studs up on Wolfsburg’s Dutch striker Wout Weghorst on 66 minutes.
A VAR ruling meant the yellow card he was initially shown was upgraded to a red by referee Patrick Ittrich.
Weghorst was then sent off moments later for barging Schalke forward Guido Burgstaller.
However, his red card was downgraded to a yellow after the video assistant spotted that Burgstaller, who was subsequently booked, had shoved the Dutchman over in the penalty area.
VAR chaos in Wolfsburg comes after defending champions Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 3-1 on Friday with the help of a controversial penalty despite the referee consulting VAR.
Wolfsburg took the lead when Maximilian Arnold’s corner drifted to the back post and was headed into the top corner by burly centre-back Brooks on 33 minutes.
The American defender then gave away a late penalty for a kick on Schalke’s Swiss striker Breel Embolo.
Ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Bentaleb, who had just come off the bench, fired home the 85th-minute spot kick before Ginczek struck.
Elsewhere, Nuremberg suffered a 1-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin on their return to the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.
Hertha captain Vedad Ibisevic slammed home the first-half winner at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Eintracht Frankfurt, under new coach Adi Huetter, made up for their shock German Cup defeat to fourth-tier minnows Ulm last weekend with a 2-0 win at Freiburg as strikers Nicolai Mueller and Sebastien Haller scored.
Werder Bremen were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Hanover 96 with Hendrik Weydandt’s goal for the visitors cancelled out by a late header by Bremen’s Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie.
Augsburg enjoyed a 2-1 come-back win at newly-promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf thanks to Andre Hahn’s late header after Austria defender Martin Hinteregger levelled following Benito Raman’s first-half goal for the hosts.