Draxler lifts Wolfsburg to Champions League win over CSKA Moscow
WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Julian Draxler's first goal for Wolfsburg was enough for the Bundesliga runner-up to begins its second Champions League campaign with a 1–0 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.
Draxler, brought in from league rival Schalke to replace the departed Kevin de Bruyne, broke the deadlock in the Group B game five minutes before the break. The Germany midfielder stabbed home the rebound from close range after Igor Akinfeev saved his initial headed effort from Ricardo Rodriguez' cross.
Wolfsburg dominated the match but failed to take a number of chances to put the result beyond doubt.
“If you look at the chances and counter attacks we had, should have made it 2–0 fairly quickly. Then we would have been a little more at ease,” Wolfsburg winger Andre Schuerrle said.
Schuerrle should have scored early on after being played through by Draxler only to be thwarted by Akinfeev's foot, and Daniel Caligiuri beat the offside trap but hesitated and allowed Georgy Shchennikov to make a crucial block.
“We have to be more decisive in front of goal,” Caligiuri said.
Draxler's goal was fully deserved and capped an impressive performance over all from the 21-year-old.
The Russian visitors improved somewhat in the second half, Pontus Wernbloom forcing Diego Benaglio into action before Zoran Tosic's shot was easily dealt with by the Wolfsburg 'keeper.
The German side's first Champions League campaign also began with a win over CSKA, 3–1 on Sept. 15, 2009 thanks to Brazilian striker Grafite's hat trick.
PSV Eindhoven defeated visiting Manchester United 2-1 in the other Group B game.