Hannover striker Mame Diouf (r.) is on eight goals in the current season
Hanover – Hannover 96 returned to home comforts on Saturday, beating their local rivals VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 to secure their third consecutive win at the AWD-Arena.Hoping to bounce back from last week’s tumultuous 5-4 defeat at Schalke and their recent slide down the table, Hannover started the Lower Saxony derby with all systems go, launching numerous attacks on the visitors’ goal.
Quick out of the block, the Reds got their reward in double-quick time, too, Mohammed Abdellaoue finishing in style following a defensive slip-up from Simon Kjaer with all of three minutes played.
Wolfsburg responded well to the early setback however, pressing high up the pitch and giving the hosts little opportunity to settle on the ball. Bas Dost, Ivan Perisic, Diego and Vieirinha all failed to find a way past excellent home keeper Ron-Robert Zieler, but when Sebastien Pocognoli marked his Hannover debut with a red card, it seemed like the tide might well be turning in the Wolves’ favour.
Instead however, the 2009 Bundesliga champions were caught cold shortly before the break, on-form frontman Mame Diouf doubling the 96ers’ advantage.
2-0 up at the interval, Hannover were looking good for the points at this stage, their man disadvantage notwithstanding. But sudden-impact half-time substitute Alexander Madlung pulled one back for VfL seconds after the restart and from there on in Wolfsburg dictated the contest as the half unfolded. For all their creative potential however, the Wolves were able to carve out few really clear-cut chances .
Naldo’s two long-range efforts near the hour mark looked promising, while Dost and Ivica Olic squandered the guests’ best opportunities a little later, coming up short with only the goalkeeper to beat.