Fortuna Düsseldorf moved ten points clear of the relegation play-off position with a comfortable 3-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart, who remain in 16th place.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-0 VfB Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Karaman (34’), 2-0 Fink (49’), 3-0 Raman (85')
Red card: Gonzalez (90+3')
The hosts started the brighter of the two teams and Kenan Karaman struck the woodwork after just six minutes - although the linesman’s flag was already up for offside. Friedhelm Funkel’s side continued to create the better opportunities as the half wore on, Dodi Lukebakio’s clever back-heel forcing a smart save out of Ron-Robert Zieler before the 21-year-old Watford loanee was thwarted by a superb last-ditch tackle by Ozan Kabak. Fortuna eventually got the goal their first-half endeavours deserved, though, when Lukebakio’s left-wing cross was headed home by Karaman for his first goal in Düsseldorf colours.
Last season’s Bundesliga 2 champions doubled their advantage in spectacular fashion four minutes into the second half. Oliver Fink collected Jean Zimmer’s cross on the edge of the penalty area, sidestepped Santiago Ascacibar before curling a magnificent effort past the despairing dive of Zieler and into the top corner. Lukebakio then dragged a low effort wide from a promising position as Düsseldorf continued to dominate proceedings, with Nicolas Gonzalez missing the visitors’ best opening when he failed to direct a glancing header on target. Markus Weinzierl’s side continued to push in search of a route back into the match, but Benito Raman’s fabulous solo effort and Gonzales' late dismissal for a second bookable offence completed a miserable afternoon for the visitors.
Watch: Funkel honoured at reaching milestone
- Fortuna boss Funkel made his 800th Bundesliga appearance as a coach or player. Only Jupp Heynckes (1138), Otto Rehhagel (1033) and Felix Magath (801) have made more.
- Two of Karaman’s five Bundesliga goals to date have come against VfB.
- Düsseldorf have collected 16 points from their last six Bundesliga games. Stuttgart have only taken one point in that time.
- Fortuna’s top scorer this season, Lukebakio, has now gone five games without a goal. The Belgian has seven overall.
- Four wins, three draws and 14 defeats is Stuttgart’s worst ever return after 21 matches of a Bundesliga season.
- Stuttgart have only won one of their 11 away Bundesliga matches in 2018/19 (D1, L9).
Fortuna: Rensing - Zimmermann, Ayhan, Kaminski, Gießelmann - Bodzek - Zimmer (Raman 75'), Fink (c) (Morales 65'), Stöger, Karaman (Hennings 82') - Lukebakio
Unused subs: Drobny, Hoffmann, Suttner, Kownacki
Out: Contento (knee), Sobottka (ankle)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel
Stuttgart: Zieler - Pavard, Kabak, Kempf, Insua - Ascacibar, Gentner (c) (Thommy 64') - Esswein (Akolo 82'), Zuber (Donis 46') - Didavi - Gonzalez
Unused subs: Grahl, Castro, Badstuber, Beck
Out: Gomez (suspended), Aogo (calf)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl