SV Darmstadt 98 and VfB Stuttgart shared a four-goal thriller to leave both sides narrowly above the relegation zone with six games left to play.
SV Darmstadt 2-2 VfB Stuttgart
Darmstadt began the day in 13th, two places and four points worse off than Stuttgart, yet they dominated possession early on at their Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor and turned that pressure into a goal midway through the first-half when Sandro Wagner sprung the offside trap before steering home a personal-record 12th goal of the campaign. Stuttgart seized the initiative in a dramatic ending to the half, though, as captain Christian Gentner volleyed home his fifth goal of the season before Lukas Rupp's early shot in stoppage-time squeezed under Christian Mathenia to make it 2-1.
Darmstadt restored parity early in the second half after Peter Niemeyer forced home Mario Vrancic's corner to double his season tally. Die Lilien could have pulled clear soon after, but Vrancic failed to connect when the ball span across the face of the Stuttgart goal. Niemeyer could have wrapped up all three points in the final ten minutes, but his point-blank effort was stopped by Przemyslaw Tyton and it ended 2-2.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sandro Wagner. The former SV Werder Bremen striker is enjoying his most prolific season to date. His opening goal was well-taken, and he has now scored nine of Darmstadt's last 13 goals. His ability to hold the ball up with a team-high 51 touches created chances for the midfield behind him, and Dirk Schuster's men were unlucky not to seal the win as a result
Darmstadt should escape relegation this season, though are now winless in ten home matches. A failure to sign a clinical striker on loan in the winter transfer window - in the way TSG 1899 Hoffenehim did with Andrej Kramaric - could come back to haunt them. An injury to Wagner and the Lilies could wilt.
- Darmstadt are currently on a run of eight games without a victory - their longest winless streak this season.Stuttgart have only won one of their last seven Bundesliga games.Stuttgart boss Jürgen Kramny and his Darmstadt counterpart Schuster completed their coaching badges together in 2007 - with Schuster finishing top of the class.Stuttgart have now hit 45 goals so far in 2015/16, a tally bettered by only four other teams.
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Jungwirth, Sulu (c), Rajkovic, Caldirola - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Vrancic (Platte 90+2'), Rausch - Wagner
Stuttgart: Tyton - Schwaab, Sunjic (Klein 21'), Baumgartl, Insua - Serey Dié - Rupp (Werner 87'), Gentner (c), Didavi (Harnik 72'), Kostic - Kravets