VfB Stuttgart, with Deniz Undav scoring three goals, left RB Leipzig trembling for their Champions League place. In a clash between two top teams and at the same time a false start to the new year, the Swabians celebrated an unexpected 5:2 (2:1) goal festival against disappointing visitors on Saturday.
The Leipzig team coached by Marco Rose also suffered a defeat in their third match after the Bundesliga winter break. RB are in danger of slipping out of the top four on Sunday. Borussia Dortmund would need just one point against VfL Bochum to move ahead.
In front of 52,100 spectators, the goals from Benjamin Sesko (32nd minute) and Lois Openda (55th) were clearly not enough for the visitors. Stuttgart's Undav (30th/56th/75th) scored three times and made the absence of top scorer Serhou Guirassy clearly fade into the background on Saturday.
Enzo Millot (25th/manual penalty) opened the scoring for the Swabians, who were also without a point in 2024. Jamie Leweling also scored (48'). The Swabians had previously lost all four Bundesliga games without Guirassy, who is currently at the Africa Cup. They have now cemented their place in the top flight.
Rose's hopes were not fulfilled. "We now have to get back on track and need a result. Then we'll also be in a position to start a series," the RB coach said on Sky before kick-off: "We're already being critical of ourselves, but on the other hand it's not about losing our nerve."
VfB had struggled to convert their chances in the first two games after the winter break. After a somewhat cautious start, a handball penalty initially helped against RB: Referee Sven Jablonski first looked at the scene on the screen, in which a header from Dan-Axel Zagadou had hit RB defender Mohamed Simakan's hand. Then the penalty was awarded: Millot confidently converted into the left corner. RB keeper Janis Blaswich had opted for the other side.
The Stuttgart fans had long since ended their silence of the first few minutes. Tennis balls were also thrown onto the pitch in renewed protest against the potential entry of investors into the German Football League.
With the lead behind them, the hosts continued with vigor and the supporters were soon able to cheer again: After Leipzig lost the ball in midfield, Hoeneß' team played quickly forward. Undav fired home from outside the penalty area - 2:0.
The visitors had had little to offer in attack until then, but took their first chance just two minutes after Stuttgart's second goal. Sesko headed between the two VfB defenders Waldemar Anton and Zagadou. However, the Swabians were not deterred by this and continued to be the more active team, creating further opportunities through Maximilian Mittelstädt (37) and Josha Vagnoman (41) and, in particular, Leweling shortly before the break. At the other end, RB claimed a penalty after a duel with Openda, but referee Jablonski allowed play to continue.
While Leweling had missed the opportunity to make it 3:1 before the break, he did better shortly after the restart: Chris Führich crossed to Vagnoman, who guided the ball to Leweling - Leweling finished with his toe from the air. The game continued swiftly: RB reduced the deficit again almost out of nowhere. Openda shot a long ball from Nicolas Seiwald into the top right-hand corner. But VfB immediately countered and Undav headed in from a free position. The striker had not had enough and completed his treble.
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