VfB Stuttgart may be hovering in the Bundesliga relegation zone, but nobody associated with the club — from the players to the coach to the supporters, who interrupted the second half restart with a (highly unadvised! Think of the air pollution!) flare show — are keen to go down without a fight.
And fight is just what they brought to their tilt against league leaders Bayern Munich, pressing the visitors into hairy situations building out from the back from the opening whistle — a common theme Bayern have faced all year.
“We played with courage. We wanted to put Bayern under pressure and did a good job of that in the first 15 minutes,” said Bruno Labbadia (via FCBayern.com). “We have to capitalise on that sort of thing. You always know Bayern’s class will tell. We defended well, before conceding a stupid goal. With a bit of luck, we could have got a point.”
That stupid goal came in the 39th minute through a long range strike from Bayern center-back Matthijs de Ligt — truly, not the most expected of hits. Still, Stuttgart can be credited with not falling apart and allowing the Bavarians to pour it on, as is their habit.
“We started the game really well, and played well in general, but weren’t rewarded with a result,” said keeper Fabian Bredlow. “Perhaps our goal came too late.”
Juan José Perea’s 88th-minute goal put a result within reach for the Swabians, but they were unable to capitalize. Still, after losing to Schalke by the same scoreline on the previous matchday, it was a step forward.
“We showed a reaction to our last game — that was very important,” said Waldemar Anton. “With a bit of luck, we’d have got a point. We matched Bayern. We had chances late on. The reaction was important, the performance was what we wanted.”
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