Wolfsburg found out there is life after Kevin de Bruyne, beating Schalke 3-0 in a showdown between two highly rated Bundesliga teams on Friday.
De Bruyne is set to leave Wolfsburg for Manchester City in a blockbuster deal and was not in the squad, watching the match from the stands.
Wolfsburg director Klaus Allofs said before the match that “only a few small things” remain to be settled before the transfer can be completed, but also added that “everything is possible” before the Monday deadline for any moves.
Also watching from the stands was forward Ivan Perisic, who has raised the interest of Inter Milan.
“We showed we can play good football even without them,” Allofs said. “When you beat Schalke 3-0, it’s a good response.”
Bas Dost opened the scoring for Wolfsburg, while Ricardo Rodriguez converted a penalty and Timm Klose completed the win in the second half.
De Bruyne was Bundesliga’s player of the season and his transfer is reportedly worth 75 million euros ($84.5 million).
“We have to win without them too,” Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said of de Bruyne and Perisic. “We wanted a good start (to the season) and now we have seven points, so it was important for us to win. We were disciplined for 90 minutes.”
Dost scored in the 17th minute, volleying in a good cross from Christian Traesch.
Wolfsburg earned the penalty when Sead Kolasinac fouled Luiz Gustavo and Rodriguez converted in the 59th.
Rodriguez set up the third goal two minutes later with a low corner that Klose diverted into the net from the near post.
Schalke now has four points from three matches.