VfB Stuttgart secured what could prove to be a big point in their fight against relegation as they held Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.
Stuttgart came into the game sitting in the relegation play-off place in 16th, and realistically, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side needed a win to stand a chance of securing outright safety.
They got off to the ideal start as Tiago Tomas opened the scoring with a superb finish from the edge of the box after just eight minutes.
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However, their lead did not last long as Bayern were back level in the 35th minute. Serge Gnabry’s low shot from inside the area took a touch off Stuttgart defender Konstantinos Mavropanos and trickled into the net.
Bayern then took the lead just before half-time, Thomas Muller placing a low shot into the bottom corner after a great piece of individual skill from the attacker.
But the tables were turned once again as Stuttgart equalised early into the second half. Sasa Kalajdzic planted a bullet back-post header beyond Manuel Neuer from Borna Sosa’s cross.
Despite both teams going for it, neither were able to find the winner, and the spoils were shared, with Bayern having Kingsley Coman sent off deep into injury-time.
Stuttgart remain in the relegation play-off place in 16th, three points behind Hertha Berlin with one game left to play and a far superior goal difference. Bayern have taken one point from their two games since being crowned champions.
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TALKING POINT - That point could prove crucial for Stuttgart
This may turn out to be a huge point on the board for Die Roten in their battle against relegation, as it effectively condemns Arminia Bielefeld to the drop automatically because of their poor goal difference.
Although Stuttgart still occupy the relegation play-off place, which could see them take on Hamburger SV or Darmstadt should they finish in that position after the final Bundesliga matchday, Pellegrino Matarazzo's side could yet finish in 15th to secure safety if they win at home against 7th placed Koln next weekend and Hertha Berlin lose to Borussia Dortmund.
Hertha's goal difference is significantly worse than Stuttgart's, therefore if both sides finish the season on the same points tally, Die Roten would secure Bundesliga football for next season.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Sasa Kalajdzic
Sasa Kalajdzic vom VfB Stuttgart
Image credit: Getty Images
The Austrian striker proved to be a handful all afternoon for Bayern, and really should've had a second goal to show for his efforts on the pitch in addition to his strike early in the second half.
Shortly after levelling the scoring with his excellent header at the back post from Borna Sosa's cross, the 24-year-old had another huge chance as he found himself one-on-one with Manuel Neuer inside the box, but his finish was tame and was straight at the Bayern goalkeeper.
In total, Kalajdzic also made three key passes, won four aerial duels and made one successful tackle.
FC Bayern: Neuer 6, Pavard 6, Upamecano 7, Nianzou 6, Davies 7, Kimmich 7, Goretzka 6, Coman 6, Muller 7, Gnabry 8, Lewandowski 7. Subs: Roca 6, Sule 6, Tolisso 6, Choupo-Moting 6, Sabitzer 6.
VfB Stuttgart: Muller 7, Ito 6, Anton 6, Mavropanos 6, Fuhrich 6, Endo 7, Karazor 7, Sosa 7, Tomas 7, Marmoush 7, Kalajdzic 8. Subs: Forster 6, Thommy 6, Coulibaly 6, Mangala 6.
8’ - GOAL! (Tiago Tomas) - What a start for Stuttgart! That could prove to be a huge goal. The 6,300 Die Roten fans in the stands are delighted. Tiago Tomas lashes in a fantastic effort into the roof of the net from the edge of the box after getting the lay-off from Marmoush down the right byline. What a finish from the 19-year-old.
11’ - OFF THE BAR! - Thomas Muller smacks the bar with an audacious effort from inside the box! Kimmich collects and clips a pass to the right for Gnabry, who volleys into the danger zone. It's blocked, and there's Müller who attempts a scissor-kick but it comes back against the crossbar. Let-off for Stuttgart! Bayern have reacted well.
35’ - GOAL! (Serge Gnabry) - Bayern respond! Mavropanos has turned the ball into his own net from Serge Gnabry's shot towards goal from the right side of the box, but the Bayern man is credited with the strike. Bayern back in it!
44’ - GOAL! (Thomas Muller) - Bayern have turned it around here! Thomas Muller puts Bayern in front with a fantastic toe-poked finish from inside the area! Upamecano plays him in, and Muller does all the hard work with a sublime first touch to take the ball away from Ito, before placing it into the bottom corner with his left foot. Outstanding from the Bayern man.
52’- GOAL! (Sasa Kalajdzic) - The visitors have pegged Bayern back here! It is Kalajdzic with a fantastic header at the back post from Sosa's cross! He completely out jumps Nianzou there and Stuttgart have a big goal again. That whole move came from Upamecano being cheaply dispossessed.
- Since beginning of 2020-21, Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalaidzic has scored nine goals from assists by Borna Sosa, only goals from Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski via Thomas Müller assists have produced more Bundesliga goals in this time (14).
- Stuttgart have now not won in six Bundesliga fixtures (D4, L2).
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