Stuttgart faced Hertha Berlin, while VfL Bochum hosted Borussia Monchengladbach in Tuesday night’s other Bundesliga Matchday 14 clashes. Greek centre-half Konstantinos Mavropanos scored in the 98th minute to secure a dramatic victory, as first-half goals from Bochum’s Antwi-Adjei and Philipp Hofmann made for the surprise of the night in Germany.
VfB Stuttgart 2 – Hertha Berlin 1
The Swabians made the dream start inside three minutes to the delight of the home fans. Tiago Tomas’ ball scythed Hertha’s defence in two as Guirassy hammered the ball beyond Christensen. Just as Silas was unfortunate to flash his strike wide of the target on 15 minutes, Hertha responded at the opposite end. John-Joe Kenny’s delivery from the right flank picked out Dodi Lukebakio who converted to level matters at 1-1 with exemplary technique.
The game was played at a frantic, end-to-end pace for the entirety of the first-half. Chances were aplenty as tempers flared. Konstantinos Mavropanos and Davie Selke were just short of coming to blows at one stage, demonstrating the importance of a win for both sides as it remained level at the interval.
Stuttgart continued their pressure and hard work after the restart as Borna Sosa almost caught Christensen out at his near post. Suat Serdar’s replacement, Ivan Sunjic, kept Florian Muller on his toes as the game entered the final 20 minutes. Mavropanos was also in the right place at the right time to clear his own goal line.
There was a heart in mouth moment on 76 minutes when Sunjic and Endo were involved in a heavy clash of heads. Both players lay stricken on the turf for several minutes, with the Stuttgart skipper eventually stretchered off – let’s hope nothing too serious ahead of the Japanese star’s World Cup commences.
BSC substitiutes Ejuke and Kanga had momentary chances towards the death, but nothing came of them. A hefty seven minutes of injury time arrived as Enzo Millot’s header forced Christensen into the save of the night. However, there was heartbreak in store for the visitors, as ecstasy rained down for the hosts – Sosa swung the resulting corner onto the head of Mavropanos who glanced his header home off the woodwork as the Mercedes-Benz Arena erupted in cheer. The final kick of the game securing all three points for Stuttgart in what was a vital midweek victory.
VfL Bochum 2 – Borussia Monchengladbach 1
Bochum were too hot for Gladbach to handle early on. Antwi-Adjei looked to have spurned a superb early chance for the hosts. Moments later however, the Ghanaian had the ball resting in the back of Olschowsky’s net in the 7th minute. The nimble winger beat the offside trap to expertly slot past the 21-year-old goalkeeper.
Things went from bad to worse from Gladbach. A mix-up of mass proportions between Elvedi and the debutant shot stopper allowed Philipp Hofmann to sneak in and intercept. The German target man was left with an open goal to bag his fourth of the season and double Bochum’s advantage.
Daniel Farke’s charges eventually began to arise from their slumber. Marcus Thuram had a handful of chances, while a headed effort from Bensebaini who latched onto Kramer’s cross remained the pick of the bunch before the break.
Bochum started the second half in similar fashion to the first. Kevin Stoeger floated a freekick into the box from left of centerfield. Ukrainian centre half Ivan Ordets came within the breadth of the right upright from adding a third goal.
Gladbach did grab a lifeline just after the hour mark and it was the French connection that made it 2-1. Jonas Hofmann was alive to Stoeger’s idea, intercepted the Austrian, and found Thuram in space. Plea crept in on the overlap to receive the pass and curl home despite the best efforts of Lampropoulos and Riemann. Bochum skipper Losilla thought he restored their two-goal advantage on 69 minutes but for the offside flag to be raised.
Gladbach attacks came wave after wave, and as the clock hit 84 minutes Bensebaini appeared to have bagged the leveller. The Algerian’s header looked destined to stand, however VAR consultation spotted Jonas Hofmann in an offside position before delivering the cross. Even though Patrick Osterhage’s touch came after Freidrich’s header, Hofmann was adjudged offside while his teammate touched the ball. Bochum hung on for what could be an all-important victory and three points come the season’s end.