VfB Stuttgart extended their unbeaten run to seven matches courtesy of an impressive 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
With Hertha striker Salomon Kalou injured and Stuttgart playmaker Daniel Didavi suspended, both sides took to the field without the services of their leading goalscorers. Stuttgart’s approach did not change as a result, however, with Timo Werner and Filip Kostic combining to produce the first shot on goal after two minutes. Hertha, as ever, opted to sit back and bide their time before launching an offensive. The Old Lady’s best chance fell to Vedad Ibisevic, whose 12-yard drive was met by the outstretched foot of Stuttgart goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
Stuttgart took the lead six minutes into the second half, but not before another strong save from Tyton foiled Ibisevic. The goal itself came after Hertha conceded possession in their own half. Rune Jarstein could only parry Alexandru Maxim’s initial effort, with Serey Die reacting first to force home the follow-up from 14 yards. Ibisevic continued to make his presence felt at the other end, but it was Stuttgart who carried the greater threat - the effervescent Kostic capping a sensational individual display with a fine finish six minutes from time.
Man of the match
Even without Didavi, Stuttgart were hardly lacking in the creativity department. Maxim was excellent again, but Kostic shades it thanks to an even better show of attacking intent.
Jürgen Kramny’s men now have some serious momentum behind them. Stuttgart were in the bottom two when the 44-year-old took charge, but Die Schwaben are now up to ninth on the back of a five-match winning run.
- Serey Die scored his first Bundesliga goal at the 29th attempt.
- Kostic has scored three goals in his last five Bundesliga outings.
Stuttgart: Tyton - Großkreutz, Schwaab, Biedermeier, Insua - Serey Die (Klein 86’) - Rupp, Maxim (Harnik 79’), Gentner (c), Kostic - Werner (Kravets 72’)
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred, Lustenberger (c) (Schieber 60’) - Haraguchi, Darida, Cigerci (van den Bergh 72’) - Ibisevic