VfB Stuttgart's Bundesliga fate will be decided on the last day of the campaign after Pellegrino Matarazzo's side battled to earn a point against recently crowned champions Bayern Munich, Sasa Kalajdzic heading a crucial equaliser for the visitors.
Summing up Stuttgart's massive challenge at the home of the recently crowned champions, visiting coach Matarazzo said, "We'll need courage, tenacity, intensity on the pitch." His team seeking to aid their aim of Bundesliga survival at the Allianz Arena, of all places, the tactician looked on with pride as Die Schwaben brought all of the above elements to the fore to take a surprising lead. Escaping from the attentions of Tanguy Nianzou, Omar Marmoush laid the ball back for Tiago Tomas, whose first-time effort from distance rose high into the net. Marmoush went close to adding a second for Stuttgart later in the half, but with Bayern always a threat in the attacking third, an equaliser appeared likely. It arrived in the 35th minute, Serge Gnabry stepping back outside from the right before unleashing an angled shot at goal that was helped into the net by the despairing Konstantinos Mavropanos. The men in red weren't finished and when Thomas Müller accepted Dayot Upamecano's assist, the 32-year-old rolled the ball superbly underfoot as he spun to face the target, into which he prodded his eighth goal of the season.
The conundrum facing the visitors was that they had one just once in 19 previous games against Bayern and, trailing at the halfway mark, were likely destined for a best case scenario of a relegation play-off ahead of one last round of matches. Step forward Kalajdzic to fuel Die Schwaben's hopes once more. The Stuttgart striker - who missed a large part of the season through injury - expertly beat Nianzou to the ball to convert Borna Sosa's centre form the left. It could have been even better for Matarazzo's men shorty afterwards when Kalajdzic found himself in a one-v-one with Manuel Neuer, but it was the Germany No.1 who would win that battle. Following this game, Bayern were due to receive the Meisterschale having wrapped up their 10th Bundesliga championship in a row. However, just as they had done in similar circumstances four years prior, Stuttgart were determined to dampen the festivities. With time ticking down, Philipp Förster found space but with his eyes lighting up, the 27-year-old shot wide of the target. Lewandowski and Förster spurned decent chances thereafter while Kingsley Coman was shown a red for lashing out in the dying seconds. A point earned allowed Bayern to begin festivities, while for Stuttgart, thoughts turn to one last game against Cologne with nothing yet decided, but the prospect of automatic relegation all but off the table.
- Müller scored his 227th goal in all competitions for Bayern. Only Lewandowski (343) and the late Gerd Müller (525) have more. He has 137 in the Bundesliga, putting him level 20th with Uwe Seeler.
- Bayern extended their record Bundesliga scoring sequence to 80 consecutive games. The champions were last held to a blank by Leipzig in February 2020 (0-0).
- Four of Kalajdzic's five goals this season have been assisted by Borna Sosa.
- As many as 17 of Kalajdzic's 21 Bundesliga goals have been scored in the second half of games.
- Tiago Tomas registered his fourth goal of the season and his first from long range.
- Serge Gnabry has scored 14 times in the Bundesliga in 2021/22.
Watch: Sasa Kalajdzic reflects on "important point"
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard (Tolisso 72'), Nianzou (Süle 63'), Upamecano, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka (Roca 72') - Gnabry (Sabitzer 86'), Müller (Choupo-Moting 85'), Coman - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Richards, Hernandez, Stanisic
Out: Musiala (unconfirmed), Sane (cold), Sarr (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Stuttgart: Müller - Mavropanos, Anton (c), Ito - Führich (Coulibaly 63'), Endo, Karazor, Sosa - Tomas (Förster 74'), Kalajdzic (Thommy 79'), Marmoush (Mangala 46')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Millot, Beyaz, Bazzoli, Tibidi
Out: Ahamada (broken toe), Nartey (knee), Mola (knee), Sankoh (knee), Silas (shoulder), Stenzel (pelvis)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
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