FC Augsburg picked up a crucial victory in the battle against the drop by beating VfB Stuttgart 1-0 at the WWK ARENA on Matchday 30.
FC Augsburg 1-0 VfB Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Finnbogason (36')
With Ja-Cheol Koo and Dominik Kohr restored to the starting line-up, Augsburg made the better start to proceedings - although chances were few and far between early on. Daniel Baier's long-distance effort that sailed high and wide epitomised the first half-hour, but the game opened up after Alfred Finnbogason's fine finish gave the hosts the lead in the 36th minute. Stuttgart responded well and could have pulled one back before the break, but Daniel Didavi's powerful effort rebounded back off the post.
The game continued to ebb and flow after the break, with Caiuby a particular threat for Augsburg. The Brazilian - who teed up Finnbogason's opener - twice came close after the interval, his first effort denied by an excellent save from Przemyslaw Tyton, before Emiliano Insua acrobatically cleared off the line shortly afterwards. With the hosts firmly in the driving seat, it took another fine double-save from Tyton to prevent Jeffrey Gouweleeuw doubling Augsburg's lead in the closing stages. As it was though, Finnbogason's early goal proved sufficient for Markus Weinzierl's side to record a vital win in the relegation battle.
Man of the match
This was another fine display from winter signing Finnbogason, who has scored the winning goal in the last two games for Weinzierl's side. The Iceland international's fifth strike of the season here was a fine finish, controlling the ball calmly before slotting past Tyton.
Victory means Augsburg leapfrog Stuttgart, and with 1. FC Köln and Hamburger SV still to play before the season is out, FCA will fancy their chances of survival. For their part, however, Stuttgart now face a tougher task to preserve their top-flight status.
- Finnbogason has scored in four of Augsburg's last five games.For the first time under Jürgen Kramny, Stuttgart started a game with two up front.Augsburg have never lost a Bundesliga home game that they led at half-time.
Augsburg: Hitz - Opare, Gouweleeuw, Klavan, Max - Baier (c) (Janker 90+3') - Caiuby, Altintop (Hong, 85'), Kohr, Koo - Finnbogason (Bobadilla, 80')
Coach: Markus Weinzerl
Stuttgart: Tyton - Schwaab, Sunjic, Niedermeier, Insua - Klein (Maxim, 46'), Gentner (c) - Didavi, Kostic - Werner (Kliment, 84'), Kravets (Taschi, 73')
Coach: Jürgen Kramny