Bayern Munich defend top spot with hard-fought win at VfB Stuttgart
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting celebrated his contract extension earlier in the week with a goal as Bayern Munich beat VfB Stuttgart 2-1 to defend their place at the Bundesliga summit.
Stuttgart 1-2 Bayern
Goals: 0-1 De Ligt 39' (assist: Musiala), 0-2 Choupo-Moting 62' (assist: Müller), 1-2 Perea 88' (assist: Tomas)
Stuttgart may have slipped into the deep end of the murky relegation waters recently following a run of four defeats in their five previous league outings but there was no sign of a lack of confidence against the reigning champions. Bruno Labbadia’s side were bold, aggressive and adventurous on home turf, pinning Bayern back in the early stages. Joshua Kimmich offered a brief respite for the visitors with a thundering drive from distance that Fabian Bredlow did well to save, while Hiroki Ito replied in kind with a long-distance strike that fizzed just wide. Leon Goretzka then had to good chances, first from an Alphonso Davies cut-back before seeing a close-range header superbly saved by Bredlow, but the deadlock was eventually broken by an unlikely source: Matthijs de Ligt. Receiving the ball from Jamal Musiala just outside the penalty area – having hooked a Konstantinos Mavropanos header off the line moments earlier - the Dutch defender drilled a low shot through a crowded box and into the bottom corner.
The match remained an engaging, end-to-end spectacle after the break and Kingsley Coman had the first chance to add to the scoreline when Stuttgart struggled to clear an attack, but the Frenchman could only smash his shot straight at Bredlow. The home side stuck to their game plan and tried to get at Bayern but as the match wore on and fatigue set in, the guests increasingly asserted their dominance on proceedings. Choupo-Moting quashed any hopes Stuttgart might have had of equalising when he applied a smart finishing touch to Thomas Müller’s flick, following another probing dribble from Musiala. The outcome never looked in doubt until the last couple of minutes, when Juan Jose Perea headed in a Tiago Tomas cross from the left to spark a grandstand finale. Tanguy Coulibaly headed inches wide in stoppage time as Stuttgart threatened a shock comeback but Bayern just held on for all three points to move above Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table on goal difference.
- De Ligt scored just his second Bundesliga goal, coming in his 20th appearance.
- Musiala now has eight Bundesliga assists this season, to go with his team-high 11 goals.
- Bayern have scored 100 times in Stuttgart. No team has ever reached a century of Bundesliga goals away to one club.
- Müller has provided the assist for three of Bayern's last four Bundesliga goals.
- At 22 years, four months and two days, Davies became the youngest non-German player to reach 100 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern.
- Perea netted his first-ever Bundesliga goal.
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Watch: Nagelsmann - The result is what's important
Stuttgart: Bredlow - Anton, Mavropanos, Zagadou (Nartey 85'), Ito - Endo (c), Karazor (Millot 85'), Haraguchi - Gil Dias (Coulibaly 46'), Silas (Perea 74'), Führich (Tomas 74')
Unused subs: Müller, Vagnoman, Pfeiffer, Kastanaras
Out: Guirassy (adductor), Sosa (suspended)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Bayern: Sommer – Stanisic, Upamecano, de Ligt – Coman (Gnabry 63'), Kimmich, Goretzka (Gravenberch 82'), Davies – Müller (c) (Pavard 82'), Musiala (Sane 63') – Choupo-Moting (Mane 63')
Unused subs: Ulreich, Cancelo, Blind, Tel
Out: Hernandez (knee), Ibrahimovic (suspended), Mazraoui (match fitness), Neuer (broken leg)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
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