Patrik Schick scored his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen, but Sasa Kalajdzic continued his scoring run as VfB Stuttgart fought back to draw 1-1 on Matchday 3.
Having drawn their first two league assignments in 2020/21, Peter Bosz’s charges began with the fury of a side determined to make amends. It didn’t take them long to edge ahead either, as Kerem Demirbay played a short corner to Florian Wirtz, whose floated cross into the middle was headed in by Schick from the edge of the six-yard box. Stuttgart had reacted well after falling behind in their first two games of the season, and did so again here, with Silas Wamangituka lively, Borna Sosa firing a free-kick just wide, Konstantinos Mavropanos hitting the bar with a header from Gonzalo Castro’s corner and Wendell clearing Sosa’s shot off the line with the last kick of the half.
Leverkusen regrouped at the interval and again started the better of the two teams. Lucas Alario had a glorious chance to extend the visitors’ lead when he rose unmarked to meet Karim Bellarabi’s right-wing cross, but his header was brilliantly blocked by Gregor Kobel. The Stuttgart goalkeeper was called into action again moments later, this time keeping out a fierce drive from Bellarabi, who had broken clear of the home defence. They proved to be crucial saves, too, as Stuttgart again improved as the half wore on and deservedly equalised when Kalajdzic headed in from Philipp Klement’s free-kick. The hosts looked more likely to win it in the closing stages, with Mateo Klimowicz firing straight at Lukas Hradecky and Kalajdzic heading over from another Klement set-piece, but ultimately both teams had to settle for a point – Leverkusen’s third straight draw this season.
- Sven Bender made his 250th Bundesliga appearance (92 for Leverkusen, 158 for Borussia Dortmund). He has never lost against Stuttgart (seven wins, four draws).
- Schick grabbed his first goal for Leverkusen in his third league outing for the club. He has scored almost half of his Bundesliga goals with his head (five of 11).
- New Leverkusen signing Santiago Arias played his first game for Leverkusen since arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid.
- Mavropanos, on loan from Arsenal, made his Bundesliga debut in what was also his first competitive game for Stuttgart.
- Kalajdzic scored with his first shot of the match and has now scored in each of VfB's Bundesliga fixtures this season.
- Stuttgart have not won at home to Leverkusen in the Bundesliga for 10 years.
Watch: Schick: "One point is not enough"
Stuttgart: Kobel – Anton, Mavropanos (Klement 70'), Kempf – Endo – Wamangituka (Coulibaly 56'), Mangala, Castro (c) (Klimowicz 70'), Sosa (Massimo 56') – Didavi (Karazor 84') – Kalajdzic
Unused subs: Bredlow, Al Ghaddioui, Churlinov, Kaminski
Out: Awoudja (Achilles tendon), Egloff (ankle), Gonzalez (thigh), Mola (hip), Stenzel (suspended), Thommy (match fitness)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Leverkusen: Hradecky – Arias, S. Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven (Wendell 28') – Wirtz (Amiri 79'), Aranguiz (c), Demirbay (Bailey 79') – Bellarabi (Baumgartlinger 79'), Schick (Alario 19'), Diaby
Unused subs: Lomb, Tah, L. Bender, Palacios
Out: Paulinho (knee)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Watch: Kalajdzic: "I'm a striker, scoring goals is my job"
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