16 April 2019
VfB Stuttgart lost with Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0:1 at home and still has to fight hard to keep the place in German 1st Bundesliga.
Before the game against Bayer 04, VfB Stuttgart had a great streak: 3 games without a loss on its own Mercedes Arena. But every series ends sometimes. The hosts had a great first half when they were the equal opponent for the favoured Bayer. But the team from Leverkusen had the significant advantage which is visible in the post-game stats. Bayer was in control with the ball for 69% of game time, took 17 shots on goal (with 4 accurate), and was also better in passing the ball (aroudn 84% accuracy).
With such a strong background, it was a matter of time when Bayer 04 score. And it happened in the 64th minute when Havertz scored from the penalty kick. Then the guests focused on defending the good result and VfB Stuttgart had no idea to find a hole in the opponent defense. And in the additional time, Santiago Ascibar received red card.
– Congratulations to Leverkusen on the win. We played pretty well going forward in the first half, but conceded the penalty after we’d started the second half deeper and more passively. The way we defended was okay on the whole, but there wasn’t enough going forward. When we get chances on the break, we have to finish them off better and generally be more clinical – said Markus Weinzierl, the coach of VfB Stuttgart, in post-game comment (quote by the VfB official website).
Currently, VfB Stuttgart has 21 points and holds 16th place in the Bundesliga table. If the season ended today, VfB would have to play in the play-off round with the 3rd team from 2nd German Bundesliga. But there are still 5 series of games to go and VfB have only 3 points advantage over FC Nuernberg. On the other hand, Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen holds the 15th place – the last free from relegation. It all shows that VfB needs to focus on the fight to avoid relegation, as it will be hard to jump higher in the table.
VfB Stuttgart – Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0:1 (0:0)
Goal: Havertz (64. – penalty).