Ten-man VfB Stuttgart moved out of the relegation zone for the first time since Matchday 11 after an impressive 3-1 home win over VfL Wolfsburg.

VfB Stuttgart 3–1 VfL Wolfsburg

Goals: 0-1 Arnold (14’), 1-1 Didavi (22’), 2-1 Kostic (31’), 3-1 Didavi (47’)

Sent-off: Sunjic (70’)

Having won just one away game this season prior to this fixture, Wolfsburg began somewhat tentatively, building slowly from the back while keeping plenty of men behind the ball. Nevertheless, they managed to go in front through Maximilian Arnold following a superb counter-attack, but Daniel Didavi pulled Stuttgart level with a stunning long-range drive that left Diego Benaglio with no chance.

Buoyed by that effort, VfB continued to pour forward and deservedly went ahead through Filip Kostic. The hosts dominated after the break too, and extended their lead within seconds of the restart when Didavi thumped in another excellent goal from Florian Klein’s clever pass. Stuttgart were forced to weather a late onslaught once Toni Sunjic was sent off for a second bookable offence, but they held on to hand interim coach Jürgen Kramny a maiden league victory.

Man of the match

Didavi turned this game on its head with two crucial strikes, both of which were eye-catching efforts. The midfielder has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but here he showed the full range of his ability as a match-winning attacker.

Talking point

While the three points are undoubtedly vital for Stuttgart given their precarious league position, their performance here was arguably of even greater value. The Swabians can take heart from an impressive display, which, if repeated regularly after the winter break, will help them pull to safety.

Match stats

  • Daniel Caligiuri has been involved in all four of Wolfsburg’s away goals this season (two goals, two assists).
  • Arnold has now scored twice in his last two games – as many as in his previous 30 outings.
  • Kostic’s goal was his first this season.

Line-ups

Stuttgart: Tyton – Schwaab, Sunjic, Niedermeier, Insua – Rupp, Gentner (c) – Klein (Tashchy 84’), Didavi (Baumgartl 72’), Kostic (Maxim 90+1’) – Werner

Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) – Träsch, Naldo, Klose, Schäfer – Guilavogui (Jung 67’), Arnold – Caligiuri, Kruse, Draxler (Dost 46’) – Schürrle (F. Rodriguez 82’)