Mario Gomez’s second-half brace helped VfB Stuttgart recover from 1-0 down to beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Stuttgart 2-1 Hertha
Goals: 0-1 Mittelstädt (38'), 1-1 Gomez (64'), 2-1 Gomez (76')
The visitors, who went into the game on the back of impressive wins over Hannover and in-form Eintracht Frankfurt, settled quickly and fashioned the first real opening of the contest when Maximilian Mittelstädt fired over the crossbar following Vedad Ibisevic’s knockdown. The former VfB striker, who was making his 100th Bundesliga appearance for the Old Lady, missed a golden opportunity to put Pal Dardai’s side ahead when he scuffed Vladimir Darida’s low cross off target, but Mittelstädt’s close range finish - which found the net via goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler - gave Hertha a deserved lead at the break.
Stuttgart began the second period with greater urgency, although Markus Weinzierl’s side nearly gifted the capital club a second goal when Gonzalo Castro gave the ball away to Mittelstädt, who rushed his shot and fired high over Zieler’s crossbar. The hosts soon got the goal their second-half efforts deserved, though, Gomez prodding home Nicolas Gonzalez’s header to restore parity. Chadrac Akolo’s header forced a fine save out of Rune Jarstein not long afterwards, before Gomez nodded Christian Gentner’s header past the Norwegian custodian to earn the Swabians a priceless win which lifts them out of the relegation play-off position.
- Gomez ended a run of 683 minutes without a goal in the Bundesliga.
- The veteran striker has now scored more Bundesliga goals for VfB than he managed for Bayern Munich.
- Mittelstadt scored his first ever German top-flight goal on his 35th league appearance for Hertha.
- Benjamin Pavard sat out his first Bundesliga game since Stuttgart’s promotion in 2017.
- Akolo was named in the VfB starting line-up for the first time under Weinzierl.
- Arne Meier missed his first league game of the season through illness.
Stuttgart: Zieler - Beck, Baumgartl, Kempf, Insua - Ascacibar - Gentner (c), Castro (Donis 56') - Akolo (Sosa 86'), Gomez (Didavi 90'), Gonzalez
Unused subs: Grahl, Aidonis, Sarpei, Dajaku
Out: Özcan (ankle), Pavard (thigh), Thommy (suspended)
Doubtful: Badstuber (calf), Maffeo (ankle)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl
Hertha: Jarstein - Lazaro, Lustenberger, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred, Darida (Köpke 80') - Leckie (Dardai 80'), Mittelstädt - Selke, Ibisevic (c) (Duda 86')
Unused subs: Kraft, Ernesto, Pekarik, Esswein
Out: Grujic (ankle), Klünter (thigh), Stark (foot), Luckassen (ankle)
Doubtful: Dilrosun (thigh), Rekik (thigh)
Coach: Pal Dardai