Divock Origi and Yunus Malli starred as Wolfsburg took a huge step towards Bundesliga survival with a 3-1 win in the first leg of their relegation play-off against Holstein Kiel.
The visitors are chasing back-to-back promotions but found themselves overmatched in the opening stages at the Volkswagen Arena.
Turkish playmaker Malli embarked upon a mazy 13th-minute dribble before drilling in a low cross that on-loan Liverpool forward Origi smuggled in at the back post.
Holstein's equaliser came against the run of play in the 34th minute, with Kingsley Schindler sweeping past Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels after brilliant work from Dominick Drexler.
Josip Brekalo smashed home a rising drive to restore the home side's advantage five minutes before half-time and Origi's clever reverse pass in the 56th minute set up Malli to round keeper Kenneth Kronholm for the goal his endeavours deserved.
FULL TIME! The Wolves take a two-goal advantage into Monday's second leg. Well played, boys! | 3-1 May 17, 2018
A spirited late rally from Holstein came to nothing, even if Wolfsburg captain Maximilian Arnold was fortunate not to give a penalty away in an aerial challenge with Rafael Czichos, and it will be a tall order to complete their fairytale in Monday's return.
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