VfB Stuttgart stuck in relegation peril as Bayer Leverkusen snatch draw
Stuttgart remain stuck inside the bottom two of the Bundesliga after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen, with both goals coming from the penalty spot.
Stuttgart 1-1 Leverkusen
Goals: 1-0 Guirassy (57', pen.), 1-1 Palacios (pen. 70')
After Saturday’s results, Stuttgart knew that a win would lift them out of the bottom three, while Leverkusen had to win to return to sixth. Neither side looked really convinced they could get the result they needed, however, as a cagey opening was conditioned by the palpable tension among the home fans. There was little for them to cheer as neither side mustered a single shot on goal, although the hosts did look the more engaged in the first 45 minutes.
Despite the mounting pressure, Serhou Guirassy delivered a Panenka-style penalty, dinked down the middle to put the Swabians in front after Exequiel Palacios had fouled Wataru Endo just inside the box. A penalty at the other end gave Leverkusen the chance to level matters, and Palacios made up for his mistake at the other end by tucking the spot-kick into the bottom corner. Stuttgart could and perhaps should have regained the lead within moments of the restart, but Josha Vagnoman headed Borna Sosa’s cross wide from point-blank range, and their calls for another penalty were waved away in a dramatic final few minutes which, ultimately, left both sides unhappy with just a point.
- Guirassy moved into double figures for the season, scoring for the third game in succession.
- Stuttgart have converted all five of the penalties they have been awarded this season, with Guirassy netting two.
- Half of Palacios' six Bundesliga goals have come from the penalty spot, with a 100 per cent record of three from three.
- Stuttgart's last home win against Leverkusen came in April 2010 when Cacau got both goals in a 2-1 triumph.
- Florian Wirtz came on to play his 100th competitive game for Leverkusen.
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Stuttgart: Bredlow - Anton, Zagadou, Ito - Vagnoman, Endo (c), Karazor, Sosa (Coulibaly 90')- Tomas (Millot 74'), Guirassy, Silas (Führich 64')
Unused subs: Seimen, Stenzel, Nartey, Dias, Haraguchi, Perea
Out: Kastanaras (foot), Mavropanos (shin)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie - Frimpong, Demirbay, Palacios, Bakker (Wirtz 60') - Diaby, Azmoun (Hlozek 87'), Adli (Amiri 88')
Unused subs: Lomb, Sinkgraven, Fosu-Mensah, Mbamba, Azhil, Hudson-Odoi
Out: Bellarabi (thigh), Lunev (back), Kossounou (muscular), Schick (groin), Andrich (foot)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
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