18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM



Watch: Post-match celebrations

The Stuttgart players and supporters showed their appreciation for one another at full time, in a scene very typical of fan culture in the Bundesliga. It's football as it's meant to be!

Full time! Stuttgart 3-0 Hamburg

Stuttgart take a huge step towards securing their Bundesliga status. They hold all the cards ahead of the second leg after a dominant victory in front of their own fans, and it should arguably have been more. Hamburg - who ended the game with 10 men - face a huge task to turn this around.
End of second half
+ 2

Like-for-like change

Zagadou gets a run-out, after missing the Hoffenheim draw with a foot problem.

Big chance!

Mavropanos is at full stretch to meet Pfeiffer's back-post cross, but can't steer it on target. Hamburg can count themselves very fortunate this is stilll only 3-0, with three added minutes to go.


Sosa, who's had a field day against Heyer, pings a cross ino the danger zone. Pfeiffer meets it, flicking a header narrowly wide of the far post.

Mountain to climb

As things stand, Hamburg need to score at least three goals when the two sides meet at the Volksparkstadion. Otherwise, it'll be a sixth straight season in the second tier for the Red Shorts...

Fresh legs

The result surely in the bag and with Monday's return leg in Hamburg in mind, Hoeneß shuffles his pack for the final five minutes or so.


Incisive passing from Stuttgart presents Endo with a shooting opportunity on the edge of the HSV area. He takes it, forcing Heuer Fernandes into a sprawling save to his right.


So close to a fourth Stuttgart goal as Tomas curls a low 18-yard strike just past the far post.

Crucial clearance!

A free-kick is swung into the Stuttgart area. It's cleared as far as Kittel, who has Müller beaten with his shot from the edge of the area, but Anton is in the right place at the right time - in front of the goal line - to block!

Studs showing!

Müller gets down well to beat away Glatzel's stinging 18-yard drive. As Anton goes to complete the clearance, he's caught on the top of his outstretched boot by Königsdörffer, who goes into the book.

Hamburg down to 10 men!

Hamburg's task is made a whole late harder as substitute Anssi Suhonen is sent off for a dangerous challenge on Vagnoman. His foot was very high on the Stuttgart right-back.
Video Assistant RefereeVideo Assistant Referee
SituationRed card
ReviewUnsporting behaviour?
DecisionRed card

Double change

Führich, who's been a thorn in the side of Hamburg all game long, heads off. Tomas is his replacement, while Pfeiffer comes on for Guirassy.

Fresh ideas

Dompe's been very subdued. Can Königsdörffer get at this well-drilled Stuttgart defence?

Dead-ball specialists

Two of VfB's seven corners have resulted in goals...

Change in midfield

HSV need fresh impetus. Reis, who was booked in the first half, makes way.

Off the post!

Agonising for Hamburg as Müller scrambles across his line to stop Glatzel finding the bottom corner with a close-range header at the far post.

Stuttgart strike again!

They're running away with it! Sosa swings over a corner for Guirassy, who rises between two blue shirts to head in a third Stuttgart goal. That more than atones for his earlier penalty miss!
Serhou Guirassy
Goal probability
Goal probability
Goal probability determines the likelihood that the ball will land in the goal from every position on the pitch. The value is based on large amounts of data from previous years; factors such as shot angle, distance to goal and opponent pressure - as well as mathematical models.
4 %

Tale of the tape

Stuttgart's quality in the final third has made all the difference so far in this play-off...
Goal attempts
3off target
6on target
3off target
0on target

Daylight for Stuttgart!

The Bundesliga club make the most of their strong start to the second half. It starts with Führich, who threads a brilliant vertical pass in behind the HSV defence for the run of Millot. The Frenchman races into the box and could shoot, but opts to slide the ball across the area, where Hamburg-raised Vagnoman arrives to tuck away a confident first-time finish.
Josha Vagnoman
Goal probability
Goal probability
Goal probability determines the likelihood that the ball will land in the goal from every position on the pitch. The value is based on large amounts of data from previous years; factors such as shot angle, distance to goal and opponent pressure - as well as mathematical models.
40 %

Half chance!

Millot spots a great run from Endo into the box. He attacks the ball on the edge on the penalty spot, but Schonlau puts his body on the line to make a crucial intervention.

Here we go again!

No changes from either side. Can Stuttgart extend their lead, or will Hamburg stage a fightback in keeping with the roller-coaster 2022/23 campaign?

Watch: German football remembers late teen

There was a minute's silence prior kick-off in memory of the 15-year-old German boy who died following an incident at a youth tournament in Frankfurt.

Half time! Stuttgart 1-0 Hamburg

Stuttgart lead a compelling play-off, thanks to Mavropanos' 60th-second opener. Guirassy has also missed a penalty for the hosts, who will be disappointed not to be further out in front. As it stands, Hamburg are still right in this!
+ 1

A whisker away!

Sosa with another inviting set-piece from the left. Mavropanos towers above everyone at the far post, but sends his header wide of the upright. Heuer Fernandes didn't move...

Time added on

Three added minutes at the end of a gripping first half in Stuttgart...

How costly will that penalty miss be?

Guirassy had scored his previous two penalties in the Bundesliga, including one past Manuel Neuer!


Hamburg are enjoying their best spell by far as a teasing cross from the right is hooked clear inside the VfB box. Stuttgart need to weather this mini storm...

Half chance!

Jatta chases down Müller, forcing a rushed clearance that's straight to Glatzel. He takes a touch to set himself, but the shot is charged down. Relief in the Stuttgart camp!

VfB the more purposeful

That last chance all came about after Karazor intervened at the other end to stop Kittel from getting on the end of a Jatta cross. That foray aside, HSV have created very little in an attacking sense, however.
Goal attempts
1off target
5on target
1off target
0on target

Big save!

Führich skips inside of Heyer and unleashes a rising drive that Heuer Fernandes does really well to push over.


Wow! Heuer Fernandes dives to his left to beat away Guirassy's spot-kick. What an incredible start to the play-off it's been!
Video Assistant RefereeVideo Assistant Referee
ReviewInside Penalty Area?


Reis makes contact with Millot on the right-hand side of the HSV area. It's close, but appears to be inside the box. Over to the VAR in Cologne...

What a chance!

Guirassy is played clean through on goal, but it's a tame effort in the end that Heuer Fernandes is able to get down to with ease. Hamburg are far to open and disorganised when they lose possession.

Stuttgart more effective

Goal attempts
1off target
2on target
0off target
0on target

Possession (%)

The decisive first goal


Heuer Fernandes sweeps up

Rinse and repeat as VfB try to hit HSV on the counter. Führich is on the prowl, but Heuer Fernandes, racing a good 35 yeards from his goal, is alert to the danger.

VfB targetting Heyer

Stuttgart catch out Heyer again with a ball over the top, but the whistle sounds for an offside against the roaming Führich. His cross was beyond the waiting white shirts, in any case.


Reis is the first player into the book for a late challenge on Millot.

Knocking at the door

More questions being asked of the Hamburg defence as Sosa whips over a trademark cross. Schonlau clears and is first to the next delivery, with Vagnoman lurking.


The Greek defender likes a shot from range, but this one is wide. Stuttgart really could not have asked for a more confident start to the play-off.

Heuer Fernandes to the rescue!

Heyer is caught out of position, leaving acres of space on the right-hand side of the Hamburg defence for Führich to attack. He drives into the area, forcing a flying save from Daniel Heuer Fernandes with a rising shot across goal. There's a penalty shout following the ensuing corner, but the referee is unmoved.

HSV attack

Better from Hamburg as Dompe combines with Jatta. He helps it on to Kittel, who gets to the by-line before overhitting his attempted cross. Walter applauds the idea.

Stuttgart running hard

Such a positive start by the Bundesliga side, aided and abetted by the vociferous home crowd.
Distance run (km)

Mavropanos delivers dream start for hosts!

The stadium has gone wild! Führich led an attack in the opening seconds and won a corner, which was sent into the middle of the box where Mavropanos powered an unstoppable header into the top right corner!

Off we go!

Two proud clubs and former Bundesliga champions lock horns - with just one spot in the 2023/24 Bundesliga up for grabs over two legs. And Stuttgart have scored in the opening seconds, incredible!
Goal probability
Goal probability
Goal probability determines the likelihood that the ball will land in the goal from every position on the pitch. The value is based on large amounts of data from previous years; factors such as shot angle, distance to goal and opponent pressure - as well as mathematical models.
8 %

Now for a moment's silence

As mentioned earlier, the stadium pauses to mark the sad passing of a Berlin youth footballer in recent days.

The place is buzzing

What an atmosphere there is bubbling tonight on this splendid summer's evening in Stuttgart! The sell-out home crowd desperately want to give their side an extra push.

Reis has done it

Hamburg's Reis - who turns 23 today - is the only man starting tonight who has previously scored in a Bundesliga promotion/relegation play-off. He netted in a 1-0 first leg win for Hamburg against Hertha Berlin this time last season (before a 2-0 defeat in the second leg).

Walter banking on experience

An interesting note on the teams. Hamburg's starting line-up comes in at an average age of 27.3. Tim Walter has never selected an older team in his time as Hamburg coach. Stuttgart average a slightly younger 25.5. We shall see if the wisdom of experience or youthful verve wins the day!

Watch: Stuttgart vs. HSV: best goals in 2022/23

Needless to say there's no shortage of quality throughout the ranks of both sides...

Coach's view: Walter

"It was an emotional roller-coaster at the weekend, but we've worked through it togethe. We've talked about it a lot and we're going into the play-off in a positive mood. We've been here before and learned a lot from it. Only those who have experienced negative things can create positive things. We'll continue to fight, give everything we've got - now more than ever!"

Coach's view: Hoeneß

"When I took charge at VfB we were 18th [bottom of the table]. Now we're 16th and survival is still in our own hands. I sense that spirit in the squad. We're ready and will tackle the situation along with everything it throws at us."

Watch: How the promotion drama unfolded

Hamburg fans were already celebrating automatic promotion on Sunday, when Heidenheim found a second wind to pip them to the post - and claim the Bundesliga 2 title. Relive the emotional roller-coaster that was Matchday 34 in the second tier.

Watch: Stuttgart relaxed

Messrs Führich, Tomas and Nartey were in relaxed mood as they soaked up the pre-match environment not long ago.

More on those teams

Enzo Millot replaces Silas in one of two changes to the Stuttgart team that drew with Hoffenheim at the weekend. Florian Müller is also recalled in goal, with Fabian Bredlow out injured. As for HSV, Ludovit Reis and Bakery Jatta go straight back into the side following suspension. Laszlo Benes (injured) and Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer make way.

Stuttgart starting line-up

Müller - Mavropanos, Anton, Ito - Vagnoman, Karazor, Endo (c), Sosa - Millot, Guirassy, Führich

Stuttgart subs

Selmen, Stenzel, Zagadou, Coulibaly, Egloff, Nartey, Tomas, Silas, Pfeiffer

Hamburg starting line-up

Heuer Fernandes - Heyer, David, Schonlau (c), Muheim - Meffert, Kittel, Reis - Jatta, Glatzel, Dompe

Hamburg subs

Raab, Mikelbrencis, Montero, Kisilowski, Bilbija, Suhonen, Heil, Krahn, Königsdörffer

Watch: The calm before the storm

DFL to hold minute's silence in memory of deceased teenager

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) will pay tribute to the 15-year-old killed at a youth tournament in Frankfurt am Main, before kick-off in the first leg of the Bundesliga promotion/ relegation play-off between VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg. There will be a minute's silence in the stadium, the DFL announced on Thursday. The young footballer from JFC Berlin was critically injured last Sunday in an assault by an opponent, and died on Wednesday. The alleged perpetrator, a 16-year-old from France, is said to have struck the victim on the head from behind. He is in custody and, according to his club FC Metz, denies having intentionally injured the boy.

Watch: The best of Stuttgart in 2022/23


Stuttgart 3-2 Hamburg – previous meeting

It’s been just over three years since these giants of German football last met – in the second division. HSV held a 2-0 half-time lead at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on 28 May 2020 before VfB hit back three times, with Gonzalo Castro’s winner coming in the 92nd minute. Only four players who featured that day are still at their respective clubs (Wataru Endo and Silas for Stuttgart, Daniel Heuer Fernandes and Bakery Jatta for HSV). Fabian Bredlow was on the bench for VfB.

Watch: Sandhausen 0-1 Hamburg – highlights

HSV claimed the win they needed on the final day but were denied automatic promotion beyond the final whistle after Heidenheim’s dramatic late comeback.

Watch: Stuttgart 1-1 Hoffenheim – highlights

VfB dropped to 16th and into the play-off spot after being held to a 1-1 draw by Hoffenheim and Bochum won to overtake them on the final day.

Giants of German football

The play-off has often seen a plucky underdog from the second division take on a big boy from the top flight, but this year sees two genuine giants of the German game face off. Stuttgart and Hamburg are both three-time Bundesliga champions and bring incredible levels of support with them. The question is whether Bundesliga football will be played at the 57,000-capacity Volksparkstadion or the 60,000 of the Mercedes-Benz Arena next season.

Away goals no longer apply

In the first iteration of the play-off between 1982 and 1991, a third deciding game was used to determine the winner in the case of a draw over two legs. From the reintroduction in 2008 and up to 2020, the away-goals rule was used if needed – as it was three times, with HSV benefitting in 2014 against Fürth, Union against Stuttgart in 2019 and Werder Bremen against Heidenheim the following year. That rule no longer applies, meaning if it’s level on aggregate we go to extra-time and, if still required, penalties to determine the winner.

Watch: The most dramatic play-offs ever

HSV featured in one of the most nerve-jangling play-offs when a 91st-minute equaliser took their clash with Karlsruhe in 2015 to extra-time before a late winner kept them up.

Play-off experts

This is Hamburg’s fourth appearance in the play-off, which is the most of any club. Their first two were as a Bundesliga side fighting to stay up, first prevailing against Greuther Fürth in 2014 and then against Karlsruhe the next year. They were back again last season, this time as a second division team trying to come up but lost to Hertha.

Watch: Hamburg miss out against Hertha

HSV failed to hold onto a 1-0 first-leg win in Berlin last season, going down 2-0 at the Volksparkstadion as Hertha retained their Bundesliga status for another year.

Only two wins in over a decade

Since Fortuna Düsseldorf won 2-1 against Hertha Berlin in 2012 and ultimately gained promotion, the respective Bundesliga 2 club has only managed two more victories in play-off ties. Those were Holstein Kiel against Cologne in 2021 (1-0 but lost second leg 5-1) and Hamburg last year against Hertha (also 1-0 and also lost second leg 2-0).

One notable exception

The Bundesliga club has prevailed in nine of the last 10 years, but the one notable exception was in 2018/19 when Stuttgart – in their only previous play-off tie – were relegated on away goals against Union Berlin.

History with the Bundesliga clubs

There have been 24 previous editions of the play-off to determine the final place in the following Bundesliga season, with this the 15th year in a row since it was permanently re-introduced in 2008/09. So far, the top-flight club has retained its status in 18 out of 24 seasons, with the second division team only coming up six times.

Hello and welcome!

Thanks for joining us for build-up and live match coverage of the 2022/23 relegation play-off first leg between VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg.