bundesliga

Late Chris Führich goal rescues Stuttgart while Wolfsburg guarantee safety

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VfB Stuttgart's Bundesliga fate looked closer to being decided after a John Brooks header had Wolfsburg leading, until Chris Führich slammed home late on to leave the hosts with plenty yet to play for.

VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Wolfsburg
Goals: 0-1 Brooks 13' (assist: Arnold), 1-1 Führich 88' (assist: Millot)

Pellegrino Matarazzo's side welcomed the Wolves with a heavy air of concern hanging in the air. WIth just three games to go, Stuttgart sat in the relegation play-off spot, four points from automatic safety. Champions Bayern Munich and European-hopefuls Cologne represented Die Schwaben's remaining fixtures of 2021/22, meaning the hosts were involved in a high-stakes encounter against their Lower Saxony-based visitors. Cue the alarm bells, then, when Wolfsburg's Brooks rose unchallenged to place a downward header from Maxi Arnold's corner past Florian Müller inside 15 minutes. The home fans, full of voice inside a packed Mercedes-Benz Arena, looked to lift their team, who responded via Erik Thommy and Tiago Tomas efforts either side of an Arnold free-kick that was solidly stopped by Müller.

With Stuttgart sandwiched between Arminia Bielefeld and Hertha Berlin in the standings, the home players could - at the half-time break - have been forgiven for checking in on how those sides were faring in their game some 300 miles further north. After the restart, Thommy brought the focus back to matters at hand, the VfB No. 11 testing Koen Casteels with a shot that the 'keeper saved. Scorers of five goals without reply in a victory against Mainz last time out, Wolfsburg never looked like repeating that feat here. Florian Kohfeldt's team did have chances to increase their lead, though, as they looked to guarantee their own Bundesliga status for next term. Maxence Lacroix threatened when heading narrowly wide from another Arnold corner. The need for one, final push reaching a critical point, Stuttgart roused themselves. With Matarazzo having earlier thrown Enzo Millot and Führich into the mix, the substitutes combined with two minutes to spare. The latter lashed home a cross from the left to leave a dramatic relegation battle with plenty of drama yet to come.

Watch: Sasa Kalajdzic looks ahead to Bayern trip

Match stats

  • John Anthony Brooks scored his first Bundesliga goal since January 31, 2021 (in the 3-0 win over Freiburg).
  • Stuttgart have conceded eight goals from corners this season, the highest total in the league.
  • Die Schwaben have also conceded seven goals in the first quarter of an hour of games, more than any other team.
  • Matarazzo's men conceded for the 20th consecutive time at home in the Bundesliga. That's a new club record.
  • Thanks to this draw, Wolfsburg can now look forward to a 26th consecutive season in the German top flight.

Teams

Stuttgart: Müller - Mavropanos, Anton (c), Ito, Sosa - Endo, Karazor (Millot 84'), Thommy (Führich 57') - Tomas, Kalajdzic, Marmoush (Förster 57')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Coulibaly, Mangala, Massimo, Bazzoli, Tidibi
Out: Ahamada (broken toe), Nartey (knee), Mola (knee), Sankoh (knee), Silas (shoulder), Stenzel (pelvis)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo 

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon (Van de Ven 80') - Schlager, Arnold, Gerhardt (Vranckx 72') - Wind, L. Nmecha (F. Nmecha 72'), Kruse (Philipp 90'+2)
Unused subs: Pervan, Steffen, Mbabu, Bialek, Lukebakio
Out: Bornauw (back), Otavio (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt