Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
Two goals in three minutes from Daniel Ginczek powered VfB Stuttgart to a massive home win over Eintracht Frankfurt. After not conceding despite being outplayed in the first half, they came back from a 1-0 deficit to take the points.
Having last won at home on September 27th, VfB Stuttgart came in desperately needing a win. Bottom of the Bundesliga with nine games remaining, Saturday’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt was a great opportunity for Huub Stevens’ side to climb out of the basement.
Stuttgart’s first chance came 30 minutes in following an Eintracht corner. Following a successful clearance, the hosts found themselves on a breakaway. The ball reached midfield and Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was still 30 yards off his line. However, despite the crowd urging someone to shoot, Die Schwaben deliberated and wasted the chance. Geoffroy Serey Die tried a chip from 25 yards with Trapp caught in no-man’s land, but the Ivorian’s effort wasn’t even on target.
Serey Die was booked 42 minutes in, following another sloppy challenge in his own half. The resulting free kick produced nothing though, and the teams went into halftime with the game still scoreless.
The start of the second half offered some hope for Stuttgart, who have scored 17 of their 24 goals this season in the second half of games. However, it may have been false hope, as just six minutes after the break Haris Seferović gave Frankfurt the lead. It was a lead Die Adler fully deserved, and it was somewhat surprising that it took them so long to open the scoring. The prolific strike partnership of Seferović and Alex Meier is up to 29 goals on the season, only one behind the total of Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski.
Serey Die was replaced by Oriol Romeu in the 53rd minute, as he was in danger of being booked again. Stevens didn’t wait long to make his second change, bringing on Filip Kostić for Timo Werner. It was a pretty poor performance from Werner.
Ginczek leveled the scoring in the 63rd minute. Marvin Harnik did the hard work, beating Adam Hlousek on the right wing before chipping over Trapp. All Ginczek had to do was help it across the line with his belly, and it was 1-1.
The Mercedes-Bank Arena exploded just three minutes later, as Ginczek scored again to give the hosts a 2-1 lead. This time he was more than a foot away from goal, powering a shot past Trapp from the middle of the area. Belief in their side’s survival was renewed in the fans.
Alexandru Maxim made sure that belief wasn’t wrongly placed when he made it 3-1 with just ten minutes remaining. A ground cross came in from the left via the substitute Kostić. The Serbian’s ball was too far away for Trapp to come out and claim, and Maxim slotted it to send the crowd into celebration again.
Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich kept it at 3-1, with an important save following Frankfurt’s eighth corner. Ginczek came off to the hero’s ovation that he deserved when Daniel Schwaab replaced him in the 89th minute. His two goals may go a long way towards saving Stuttgart from relegation.
Stuttgart (4-2-3-1): Sven Ulreich; Florian Klein, Timo Baumgartl, Georg Niedermeier, Adam Hlousek; Geoffroy Serey Die (Oriol Romeu 53’), Christian Gentner; Martin Harnik, Alexandru Maxim, Timo Werner; Daniel Ginczek (Daniel Schwaab 89’;).
Goals: Ginczek (63’, 66’), Maxim (81’).
Frankfurt (4-1-2-1-2: Kevin Trapp; Timothy Chandler, Carlos Zambrano, Alexander Madlung, Bastian Oczipka; Makato Hasebe, Stefan Aigner, Takashi Inui, Marc Stendera; Haris Seferović, Alex Meier.
Goals: Seferović (51’).