Promoted Stuttgart dealt Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes another major blow with a spirited 2-1 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Arena to stay unbeaten on home turf this season.
Stuttgart 2-1 Dortmund
Goals: 1-0 Akolo (4'), 1-1 Philipp (45+3'), 2-1 Brekalo (51')
Winless in four Bundesliga matches, Dortmund got off to the worst possible start as a calamitous mix-up between defender Marc Bartra and goalkeeper Roman Bürki gifted Stuttgart’s Chadrac Akolo his fourth Bundesliga goal. The Congolese forward was played in again moments later, but this time Bürki made the save. BVB began to turn the screw, however, and their persistence was rewarded late in the half when Benjamin Pavard was penalised for handling a Mario Götze cross. Rob-Robert Zieler kept out Andre Schürrle’s initial penalty, but could do nothing to stop Maximilian Philipp’s superb first-time finish on the follow-up.
Any thoughts that the pendulum had swung in Dortmund’s favour were vanquished soon after the restart as Josip Brekalo collected a long punt from Berkay Özcan and fired through the legs of Bürki to restore Stuttgart's lead. Özcan volleyed over in an all-action second half, before Dortmund’s Andriy Yarmolenko had a well-taken lob ruled out for handball. Zieler thwarted Andre Schürrle, but Stuttgart held firm to inflict another damaging defeat on Peter Bosz's faltering charges.
Man of the match
Coming up with a few big saves in decisive moments of the contest, Zieler put in a World Cup winner's display between the Stuttgart posts and was only beaten by a heat-seeking Philipp strike.
- The win was Stuttgart’s 500th on home soil in the Bundesliga. Only Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and Hamburg have recorded more.Stuttgart have now won five and drawn one at home in the league this season, giving them the best home record in the Bundesliga so far in 2017/18.Akolo’s opener was Stuttgart’s fastest goal of the season. It was also the earliest goal Dortmund have conceded.Zieler saved a Bundesliga penalty for the first time in his career.Brekalo opened his Bundesliga account in his 14th top-flight outing.Stuttgart’s Santiago Ascaibar won more tackles than any player on the pitch (12).Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro made his second Bundesliga appearance of the season following injury.
Stuttgart: Zieler – Insua, Baumgartl, Badstuber, Pavard – Gentner, Beck, Ascacibar – Akolo (Brekalo 46'), Özcan (Aogo 85'), Ginczek (Asano 45')
Substitutes: Grahl, Aogo, Brekalo, Terodde, Asano, Mangala, Ailton
Coach: Hannes Wolf
Dortmund: Bürki - Toljan, Sokratis (Zagadou 46'), Bartra, Schmelzer (c) - Kagawa (Dahoud 63'), Weigl, Götze - Schürrle (Guerreiro 83'), Yarmolenko, Philipp
Substitutes: Weidenfeller, Zagadou, Sahin, Guerreiro, Dahoud, Castro
Coach: Peter Bosz