VfB Stuttgart scored with their only shot on target to claim victory at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening, as the home side squandered a host of goalscoring chances and Lucas Alario missed a penalty.
Goals: 0-1 Gentner (67')
Missed penalty: Alario (17')
Have conceded 10 goals in their last outings – six at home to Bayern Munich and four at Borussia Dortmund – Leverkusen were determined to steady the ship, although there was a nervous moment for the home fans as Stuttgart's Timo Baumgartl almost got on the end of a free-kick in the very first minute. The hosts grew into the game and were awarded a penalty on 15 minutes as Video Assist flagged up a Baumgartl handball in the area. Alario fluffed his lines, however, and saw his spot-kick saved by Ron-Robert Zieler. A few minutes later, Kai Havertz should have done better from Leon Bailey's cross but could only head wide of the target. Leverkusen continued to dominate but neither keeper had any real saves to make as the two sides went in goalless at the break.
The hosts came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half, with Bailey forcing a good close-range stop from Zieler and Charles Aranguiz seeing an effort blocked by Benjamin Pavard. Kevin Volland then blazed over the bar after a mazy run from Lars Bender, before the Leverkusen captain headed just wide from Bailey's cross. Zieler even played the ball straight out to Bellarabi at one point, but made up for it by winning his one-on-one with the Bayer winger. Stuttgart then took the lead completely against the run of play, as Daniel Ginczek raced through on the counter-attack, and pulled back for Dennis Aogo to tee up Christian Gentner for an excellent diving header. Leverkusen laid siege to the Stuttgart area – with Alario and substitute Stefan Kießling both going close – but the visitors held on for their first win over Bayer since April 2010 as they moved up to eighth place in the table.
- Leverkusen had 24 shots on goal compared to just four for Stuttgart. The visitors scored with their only effort on target.
- Gentner has now scored two goals in his last games with just two attempts on goal.
- Stuttgart claimed their fourth away win of the campaign. All four have come since the turn of the year
- VfB beat Leverkusen for the first time in 14 meetings.
- With a winning ratio of 58.3 per cent, Tayfun Korkut is the most successful Stuttgart coach of all time. When he coached Leverkusen last season, he had the lowest win percentage of any Bayer boss (18 per cent).
- When Korkut took over at the start of February, Stuttgart were four points above the automatic relegation places. They are now just a point off the final Europa League spot.
Leverkusen: Leno – Jedvaj, Baumgartlinger (Kießling 76'), Retsos – L. Bender (c) (Kohr 86'), Havertz, Aranguiz, Bailey – Bellarabi (Brandt 68'), Alario, Volland
Unused subs: Özcan, Henrichs, Frey, Yurchenko
Absentees: Tah (hamstring), Pohjanpalo (ankle), Wendell (ligaments)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Stuttgart: Zieler – Baumgartl, Pavard, Badstuber, Insua – Ascacibar, Aogo – Gentner (c), Thommy (Özcan 46') – Ginczek (Kaminski 78'), Gomez (Donis 86')
Unused subs: Meyer, Akolo, Mangala, Larsen
Absentees: Beck (cruciate ligament), Mane (thigh)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut