Wolfsburg in Europa League
Wolfsburg secured their place in the group stage of the Europa League with a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Last Updated: 10/05/14 5:22pm
Wolfsburg secured their place in the group stage of next season's Europa League with a 3-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Kevin De Bruyne put Dieter Hecking's men in front and, for a short time, they were ahead of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga standings and on course for Champions League football next season.
Christoph Kramer pulled the visitors level in the 64th minute, but Ivan Perisic restored Wolfsburg's advantage only minutes later.
Robin Knoche then had the final say with the Wolves' third, meaning Gladbach finish sixth and will face a play-off for a place in the Europa League alongside Wolfsburg next season.
The Wolves had a strong early call for a penalty waved away when Tony Jantschke charged into De Bruyne, but nothing was given, much to the disappointment of home coach Dieter Hecking.
With news of Leverkusen falling behind at home to Werder Bremen, the two sets of fans knew the chance was there for their team to snatch a place in the Champions League next season with a win.
They raised the tempo and took the lead when De Bruyne beat the offside trap to race through and keep a cool head to place his shot perfectly past Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the far corner.
It was a goal which, at that moment in play, meant Wolfsburg had moved ahead of Leverkusen into fourth place and had Champions League football to look forward to, but one hour of the season was still to be played.
Perisic hit the crossbar with a direct free-kick before Max Kruse had a chance to level at the other end when he was put through with only Diego Benaglio to beat, but he shot straight into the midriff of the Switzerland international.
Perisic went close once again early in the second half for the Wolves before news filtered through that Leverkusen had taken the lead against Bremen.
It was a blow to Wolfsburg's hopes and they conceded an equaliser when a low cross from Raffael was an invite to Kramer, who celebrated his first call-up to the Germany squad for next week's friendly against Poland by tucking the ball in from close range.
The hosts responded with pride and Naldo's free-kick was saved by Ter Stegen, who then denied Ivica Olic on the rebound, but could do nothing to stop Perisic, who headed in at the third attempt.
Knoche then rounded off victory with a header from Ricardo Rodriguez's corner, even if it was not enough for fourth place.