• Stuttgart needed to win to have any chance of survival.
  • Wolfsburg got revenge after losing the reverse fixture by the same scoreline.
  • Didavi scored a stunning free-kick against his future employers.

VfB Stuttgart's fate was sealed after a 3-1 loss at VfL Wolfsburg. Goals from Maximilian Arnold and Andre Schürrle drowned out Daniel Didavi's free-kick for the visitors, and condemned the Swabian's to their first relegation since the 1974/75 season.

VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 VfB Stuttgart

Goals: 1-0 Arnold (11'), 2-0 Schürrle (29'), Didavi 2-1 (78'), 3-1 Schürrle (90+2')

Nine places and points better off than 17th-placed Stuttgart before kick-off, Wolfsburg dominated possession at their Volkswagen Arena and took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game. Marcel Schäfer found space on the left wing before whipping a cross in, and Arnold poked home his third goal of the season from metres out. Dieter Hecking's side doubled their lead inside the half-hour. Dante won the ball back inside his own box, Daniel Caligiuri carried the counter-attack forward, and Schürrle was on hand to cap off the move with his eighth goal of the Rückrunde.

Jürgen Kramny sent Boris Taschy on for the second half, and Stuttgart poured forward with the hulking Ukrainian in the opposition box. Wolfsburg should have made it 3-0 on the counter soon after, though. Max Kruse held onto the ball too long when there were three Wolves attackers to two Stuttgart defenders and the chance went begging. Kruse was replaced with Bas Dost soon after, and he nearly teed up Schäfer for a third, but the left-back fizzed his shot into the outside side-netting. Didavi curled a wonderful free-kick home inside the final 15 minutes, but Wolfsburg would have the final say, with Schürrle chipping home his second of the game in injury time.

Maximilian Arnold put in a sterling performance at either end for VfL Wolfsburg.

Man of the match

Arnold. The 21-year-old was as busy as ever in the Wolfsburg engine-room. No player won more tackles (18) or covered as much ground (11.84km) and he was rewarded with his first goal in five months.

Talking point

It is back to the drawing board for both sides after disappointing 2015/16 campaigns. Runners up last term, VfL Wolfsburg need to strengthen their squad if they are to qualify for the UEFA Champions League again next season. Didavi will join the Wolves from the Swabians this summer. Whether five-time Bundesliga champions Stuttgart can bounce straight back up without their talisman remains to be seen.

Match stats

  • Arnold's goal was his first since the reverse fixture, which Stuttgart won 3-1 on Matchday 17.
  • Having failed to score once in the Hinrunde, Schürrle ends the season with nine goals from 14 games in 2016.
  • Stuttgart conceded 75 goals this season. The only time they have fared worse defensively was in the 1974/75 campaign, when they conceded 79.
  • Stuttgart have lost 19 games - a negative single-season club record.
  • Stuttgart's last win at Wolfsburg was over ten years ago. Silvio Meißner scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in December 2005.
  • Didavi, who will switch the Mercedes-Benz Arena for the Volkswagen Arena in the coming days, has scored three times in two games against his future employers this campaign.

Wolfsburg end the campaign in eighth, with 12 wins from 34 games. © imago / Foto2Press


Wolfsburg: Casteels - Vieirinha, Naldo (c), Dante, Schäfer - Seguin (Draxler 73'), Guilavogui - Caligiuri (Träsch 70'), Arnold, Schürrle - Kruse (Dost 64')

Coach: Dieter Hecking

Stuttgart: Langerak - Zimmermann (Maxim 76'), Schwaab, Baumgartl, Insua - Rupp, Gentner (c) - Werner (Harnik 32'), Didavi, Kostic - Kravets (Taschy 46')

Coach: Jürgen Kramny