Van Bommel axed by Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg have sacked head coach Mark van Bommel after a brief spell in charge.
Wolfsburg have sacked head coach Mark van Bommel after a brief spell in charge.

Wolfsburg have sacked coach Mark van Bommel after just five months in the job.

A 2-0 home defeat to flying Freiburg on Saturday proved to be van Bommel's last act in charge, an eighth game in a row without a win in all competitions.

The Dutchman, a former Bayern Munch midfielder, took over in June and had a poor start to his reign with a substitution error leading to his side being thrown out of the German Cup first round.

Wolfsburg then won their first four Bundesliga games to top the table, only to then draw one and lose their next four.

They have drawn two and lost one in their Champions League group.

"There were more factors that separated us than united us," sporting director Joerg Schmadtke said on Sunday.

The 44-year-old van Bommel, who previously managed PSV Eindhoven, had been hailed by Wolfsburg as a big name coach who could cope with the twin challenge of the Bundesliga and Champions League after a stellar season last term.

That success came under Oliver Glasner but despite finishing fourth, the Austrian opted to leave for Eintracht Frankfurt with media reports saying his relationship with Schmadtke was strained.

"I am surprised and disappointed by the decision," van Bommel said.

"I am convinced that together we would have managed to return to success."

On the pitch, Anthony Modeste struck twice in the second half to heave Cologne back from two goals down and earn them a 2-2 draw against local rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

The French striker struck in the 63rd minute to cut the deficit and then levelled with his 82nd-minute header to earn a surprise point for the hosts.

Fourth-placed Leverkusen had got off to a superb start and scored twice in three minutes through Patrik Schick and Karim Bellarabi to go 2-0 up by the 17th minute.

Union Berlin conceded in stoppage time to draw 1-1 at 10-man Stuttgart to remain fifth.

Union looked set for a fourth league win in a row thanks to hot-shot Taiwo Awoniyi sweeping into the bottom corner from just outside the box on 31 minutes.

Stuttgart levelled with almost the last kick of the game through Wahid Faghir's first Bundesliga goal.

Promoted Bochum went above Eintracht Frankfurt into 14th after a 2-0 home win in the weekend's final game.

Danny Blum with the early goal and Sebastian Polter struck late while Frankfurt's Goncalo Paciencia had a weak penalty saved and then went off injured in the first half.

Australian Associated Press