German Bundesliga report: Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim
Last Updated: 07/02/15 4:42pm
Debutant Andre Schurrle inspired Wolfsburg to a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday as the Wolves kept up the chase of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
The new recruit from Chelsea set up Bas Dost and Kevin De Bruyne to give Wolfsburg a commanding lead to take with them into the interval.
Hoffenheim tried to mount a recovery in the second half, but Wolfsburg's lead never really looked in any danger before De Bruyne added a third as the Wolves made it seven points from the first week of 2015, keeping them within eight of the summit.
Schurrle was named in the Wolfsburg starting XI after his transfer from Chelsea, making his first Bundesliga appearance since May 18, 2013.
On the opposite side, 18-year-old Nadiem Amiri was thrust into his Bundesliga debut, behind the lone striker Roberto Firmino with Markus Gisdol leaving most of his side's firepower on the bench.
Schurrle had an immediate impact on the game, setting up Dost with a pinpoint cross, and the in-form Dutchman did the rest, converting from close range to grab his fourth goal in his last four games.
Schurrle almost went one better in the 16th minute when he got past Oliver Baumann in the Hoffenheim goal, but Andreas Beck was covering to make a goal-line clearance.
Wolfsburg were all over their guests and it was not long before they doubled their lead with an inspired Schurrle again involved with his shot crashing back off the crossbar and falling to De Bruyne, who headed in his fourth goal of 2015.
Steven Zuber came on for Hoffenheim at the start of the second and his introduction changed the complexion of the game.
It was now Hoffenheim doing all the attacking and, after Anthony Modeste was brought on midway through the second half, it became clear that they still fancied their chances of getting something.
Firmino should have reduced the arrears with 20 minutes left, but Diego Benaglio made the save.
Firmino sent another shot wide as Wolfsburg rode their luck slightly, but they ended any doubts with De Bruyne making sure five minutes from time with his fifth goal of the new year.