Wataru Endo and Chris Führich inspire Stuttgart win in Mainz as Swabians leave relegation zone
Wataru Endo scored one and set up another as Stuttgart came from behind to pick up three precious points in Mainz, and move out of the bottom three with one game of the season to go.
Mainz 1-4 VfB Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Ingvartsen (23’), 1-1 Endo (41’), 1-2 Guirassy 64’ (assist: Führich), 1-3 Führich 78’ (assist: Endo), 1-4 Coulibaly 90'+2 (assist: Führich)
Saturday’s results meant Stuttgart knew a win would take them out of the bottom three heading into the final weekend of the season, but even if Mainz came into the game on a three-game losing streak, they were not going to roll over. In fact, Mainz took the lead from a corner, with Karim Onisiwo heading the ball back into the danger area and a slight deflection helping it to the feet of Marcus Ingvartsen, who had a simple tap-in from close range. Another Mainz corner led to the next goal of the game, although it came at the other end. Stuttgart broke quickly with Silas racing away and his pass also benefited from a poor clearance from Edimilson Fernandes to tee up Endo, who settled himself and shot unstoppably past Finn Dahmen.
If Stuttgart were going to find a winner, it looked like the pace of Silas might play a part, and he carved open the first chance of the second half before overhitting his pass. The third goal of the game came like the first two, following a corner, with Stuttgart again the beneficiaries. It was textbook stuff too as substitute Chris Führich curled in a cross and Serhou Guirassy rose between two Mainz defenders to turn in a close-range header. Führich had been on the field only a matter of minutes before setting up that goal, and he went one better to put the Swabians ahead with just over 10 minutes to go. Endo picked out his run to the left and, although he initially was forced out wide, he came back inside and curled an effort into the far corner of Dahmen’s goal. Stuttgart goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow then made his contribution to Stuttgart’s win with two remarkable saves from Anton Stach and Ludovic Ajorque before Führich raced clear and teed up Tanguy Coulibaly to tap in a fourth as the guests celebrated a crucial win which leaves survival in their own hands on the final day of the season, when they host Hoffenheim.
- Mainz have equalled their most goals in a single season (52), together with 2010/11 and 2013/14.
- Ingvartsen is in double figures for the season for the first time in his Bundesliga career, with 10 goals to his name this term.
- Stuttgart have recovered from conceding the opening goal nine times this season (two wins, seven draws) – only Frankfurt have come from behind as often this season.
- Seven of Guirassy’s 11 goals this season have put his team ahead; 11 goals in a season is a new personal best for the on-loan Rennes striker.
- Stuttgart are unbeaten in their last six against Mainz (W4, D2).
- This was only Stuttgart's second away win of the season.
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Mainz: Dahmen - Fernandes, Kohr, Bell (Weiper 86') - da Costa, Barreiro, Stach, Caci (Martin 86') - Barkok (Lee 65'), Ingvartsen (Ajorque 72') - Onisiwo (c)
Unused subs: Rieß, Laux, Gruda, Mustapha, Burgzorg
Out: Burkardt (knee), Hack (groin), Hanche-Olsen (suspended), Leitsch (match fitness), Widmer (ankle), Zentner (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Stuttgart: Bredlow - Anton, Zagadou (Mavropanos 71'), Ito - Vagnoman, Endo (c), Karazor, Nartey (Stenzel 86') - SilaS (Coulibaly 86'), Guirassy (Haraguchi 86'), Tomas (Führich 62')
Unused subs: Müller, Millot, Egloff, Pfeiffer
Out: Kastanaras (foot), Sosa (ill)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
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