Strugglers VfB Stuttgart and SV Werder Bremen shared the spoils after playing out a 1-1 draw in Germany’s southwest on Sunday.
With Bremen coming into the game on the back of eight defeats in ten and Stuttgart having conceded 12 in their last three games, both sides knew what was at stake at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The match began somewhat cagily, but in Filip Kostic, Stuttgart had a potent weapon in attack, and it was following the Serb's powerful run that Lukas Rupp was able to lash home the opening goal.
Bremen were dealt a blow when Zlatko Junuzovic was withdrawn with a shoulder injury, but his replacement Florian Grillitsch looked lively, creating a chance for Anthony Ujah to test Przemyslaw Tyton with a low shot. Gradually, the visitors began to gain more of a foothold in the game and they were level when a loose ball broke for Ujah to convert from close range after good work from Levin Öztunali.
The tempo of proceedings rose dramatically in the final stages, with Öztunali slamming a shot against the crossbar and Felix Wiedwald sprawling to deny Timo Werner. A winner proved elusive for both teams, however, ensuring that Stuttgart climb one place to second-bottom, while Bremen move above FC Augsburg into 15th.
Man of the match
While Öztunali had a good second half for Bremen, he and his side struggled to contain the marauding Kostic for much of the afternoon. The Serb provided a second assist of the season with a brilliant solo run in the first half and looks to be returning to his best form.
After a disastrous run of eight losses in ten, Bremen came up against a side in similarly poor form but also one low on confidence. The hosts dictated the tempo in the first half but took their foot off the pedal once going ahead and rather allowed Bremen to come back into the game after the break. The point will be a welcome one for interim coach Jürgen Kramny, but VfB remain at arm’s length to Bremen in the battle to avoid the drop.Match stats
- After also scoring at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Rupp has now scored twice in the first half of a season for the first time. All six of his Bundesliga goals have also come with his right foot.
- This was the first game this season in which Stuttgart led at the break.
- Five of Ujah’s seven Bundesliga goals for Bremen have come on the road.
Stuttgart: Tyton – Schwaab, Sunjic, Baumgartl, Insua – Gentner (c), Serey Die – Rupp, Didavi (Maxim 80’), Kostic (Niedermeier 90’) - Werner
Bremen: Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Galvez, Vestergaard, S. Garcia – Bargfrede – Öztunali (Kroos 90’), Junuzovic (Grillitsch 51’), Fritz (c), Bartels (Pizarro 67’) – Ujah