VfB Stuttgart has landed the hoped-for liberation in the basement duel of the Bundesliga and aggravated the situation of competitor Hertha BSC. The Swabians won against the Berliners 2-1 (1-1) in the last second and got some air in the relegation battle. The game was overshadowed by a collision shortly before the end.
For Hertha, however, the situation with only a meager eleven points before the end of the year is becoming increasingly precarious. A home win against Cologne on Saturday is almost mandatory.
VfB got off to a flying start: Serhou Guirassy took the lead in the third minute. Dodi Lukebakio equalized with his seventh goal of the season (19th). Konstantinos Mavropanos (90+8) scored the acclaimed winner.
Stuttgart’s interim coach Michael Wimmer thus achieved the third Bundesliga win in five games. Before the game in Leverkusen, he collected further arguments for continued employment. How things will continue in terms of coaching at VfB will be decided during the winter break.
The coach initially pushed thoughts of his personal future aside. “The only thing that counts for me is the game in Leverkusen. I don’t bother with other things. That would be a waste of energy because I don’t decide,” said Wimmer im sky-Interview. After all, the late success made the coach “overjoyed. The belief was always there. We are becoming more and more convinced that we can win games like this.”
Lukebakio equalizes Guirassy lead
Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz sent the same eleven into the race that had stood up to FC Bayern at times in the 2-3 draw on Saturday. However, the start in Stuttgart was not very edifying. After a great pass from Tiago Tomas right into the interface of the Hertha chain, Guirassy finished free-standing and ice cold.
A lively game then developed in which Silas missed VfB’s great chance to make it 2-0 (16′). That was to take revenge: Almost in return, Lukebakio used a positional error by Waldemar Anton at the far post after Jonjoe Kenny crossed to make it 1-1.
VfB seemed stricken for a while. The attack effort lacked accuracy and determination. Hertha had no trouble keeping Stuttgart at bay. However, the Berliners hardly took the initiative going forward. A header from Davie Selke after a corner kick was the only chance.
Endo: VfB reports a slight all-clear
The Swabians only increased the pressure again shortly before the break. But Hertha keeper Oliver Christensen saved his team from falling behind again when Hiroki Ito headed the ball.
After the change, Stuttgart initially kept the pressure on – without becoming dangerous. However, Hertha was also good, so that Stuttgart’s dangerous wingers Borna Sosa and Silas could only rarely put themselves in the limelight.
After a good 70 minutes, the game became more open. First, VfB defender Konstantinos Mavropanos saved Lucas Tousart’s shot on the line, while Guirassy Christensen tested at the other end.
The game was overshadowed by a clash shortly before the end between Wataru Endo and Ivan Sunjic. The Japanese was briefly unconscious and had to be carried into the cabin on a stretcher. After the end of the game, coach Wimmer and head of sport Sven Mislintat were cautiously optimistic.
VfB Stuttgart – Hertha BSC: The voices
Michael Wimmer (interim coach Stuttgart): “We started the game well and took an early lead. We had control after the 1-1. The game was balanced after the substitution. We were lucky that Mavropanos saved on the line. That we got the goal in stoppage time doing was happy but not undeserved. We showed courage and faith.”
Sandro Schwarz (Hertha coach): “Stuttgart had better control at the beginning, we didn’t have access. The first half wasn’t good enough despite the equaliser. In the second half we had very good control. We didn’t allow many chances. Before we conceded, we lost the ball again . That’s naive of us and extremely bitter. We have to behave smarter and improve significantly.”