Despite the ongoing leadership crisis with the power struggle between CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger and President Claus Vogt, the rapidly countering Swabians won 4-1 (2-0). The Stuttgart remain unbeaten in this Bundesliga season against teams from the lower half of the table. Heiko Herrlich’s team, on the other hand, missed the leap forward requested by the coach and has been without a win for 13 Bundesliga home games against a promoted team.
Nicolas Gonzalez, who was never captured by Augsburg’s defensive team over and over again, scored the lead in the 10th minute with a casual foul penalty for the new tenth in the table. Silas Wamangituka (29th) then increased with his eighth goal of the season. The lightning connection from Marco Richter (46th), who later had to leave the pitch because of a yellow-red card (76th), countered Gonzalo Castro (61st) and shortly before the end Daniel Daidavi (87th).
No fans in the stadium, but a stir on the lawn. Both Augsburg and Stuttgart played energetically from the start. “We have to try to prevent this offensive force and exploit the weak points,” FCA coach Herrlich demanded on TV channel Sky. The determined Stuttgart nevertheless took the lead. Reece Oxford kicked Mateo Klimowicz on the foot in the penalty area, Referee Daniel Schlager resolutely decided on a penalty.
Gonzalez started, delayed twice briefly – and invited Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz. The Argentine has never missed a penalty in the VfB dress.
The Augsburgers, where Rani Khedira represented the yellow-banned captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, were not impressed. More than a crossbar hit from Daniel Caligiuri (14th) and a headball from Ruben Vargas (17th) that was only centimeters away, however, did not jump out.
“We have to get the opponent moving,” demanded VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo. And his Stuttgart continued their attack-like counter-football. After a long blow from Marc-Oliver Kempf, Borna Sosa ran away from the home side on the left and served the storming Wamangituka to make it 2-0 in the back of the defense. A lob from Gonzalez (43.) got stuck on the hands of keeper Gikiewicz.
Herrlich replaced Khedira with attacker Michael Gregoritsch at halftime and increased the risk. It paid off immediately! Richter pursued vigorously, which allowed Vargas to escape on the left and put the former U21 international who ran along with him for a connection goal. The lightning start to the Augsburg goal after just 29 seconds was perfect.
However, the Stuttgart-based company continued tirelessly and consequently rewarded themselves again. After a perfect cross from Gonzalez, the Augsburg defense was cracked again: Castro restored the two-goal lead after the video referee had clarified the suspicious situation.
Richter then had to go off the pitch with yellow and red, and the substitute Didavi even increased for VfB.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210110-99-972128 / 2 (dpa)
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