By CIARÁN FAHEY
AP Sports Writer
BERLIN (AP) — In-form Wolfsburg strengthened its chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season with a 3-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Renato Steffen scored twice, and a rocket from Maximilian Arnold helped Wolfsburg move third ahead of the rest of the 22nd round. The top four qualify for the Champions League and fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen is already six points behind Wolfsburg.
The Volkswagen-backed club has been in top gear this year, unbeaten in nine games across all competitions since a 2-0 loss at Borussia Dortmund on Jan. 3. Wolfsburg hasn’t conceded a goal in seven games.
The visitors only had a goal to show for their first-half dominance in Bielefeld. Germany defender Ridle Baku played a ball through on the right for Yannick Gerhardt, and the midfielder raced ahead before sending in a cross that Steffen just had to hold his foot to in the 29th minute. Michel Vlap went close in response for Bielefeld, but the home side had few chances.
Steffen got his second goal two minutes after the interval, finishing off the rebound after Bielefeld ’keeper Stefan Ortega parried Wout Weghorst’s effort. Weghorst had been left completely free by the Bielefeld defense for a free kick.
The game was decided in the 54th, when Arnold hammered Wolfsburg’s third goal into the top left corner from 20 meters (yards).
Bielefeld, which drew 3-3 at Bayern Munich on Monday, remained in the relegation zone.
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