Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München were pushed all the way by VfB Stuttgart in a tightly-contested 3-1 win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday afternoon.
- Stuttgart 1 Bayern 3
- Niedermeier own goal opens scoring
- Alaba doubles visitors advantage
- Didavi pulls one back
- Costa seals the win
Georg Niedermeier opened the scoring, unfortunately it was at the wrong end as he turned the ball into his own net to give Bayern the lead in the 31st minute.
The visitors doubled their advantage through David Alaba in the 52nd minute, before Daniel Didavi pulled one back for Stuttgart 10 minutes later.
Douglas Costa ensured Bayern would leave Stuttgart with the points when he scored a stunning long-range goal in the 89th minute.
Bayern began the better of the two sides and Franck Ribery went close just three minutes in with a thunderous effort for the edge of the area that was well blocked by some desperate defending from Stuttgart.
The home side should have taken the lead after Didavi took the ball into the box with an excellent touch before hitting a powerful low shot from close range, but he was denied by a miraculous save from Manuel Neuer, leaving the striker, and the home fans, with their heads in their hands.
Disaster struck in the 31st minute as Niedermeier moved to intercept a ball into the box, but only succeeded in deflecting it past his own goalkeeper to give Bayern the lead.
Moments later, Robert Lewandowski went close to doubling their lead, but pulled his snap shot from inside the six-yard box inches wide.
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After the break, the visitors continued to push and they found a breakthrough in the 52nd minute. Juan Bernat played Alaba and the fullback drilled the ball into the bottom corner to make the score 2-0. The hosts matched the Bavarians for most of the game up till this point and were unlucky to find themselves two goals behind.
However, they did manage to pull a goal back 10 minutes later. Didavi pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire past Neuer and get his side back in the game.
Bayern made life difficult for Stuttgart after the goal by hogging possession, but taking care not to overstep and leave spaces to counter attack, meaning chances were few and far between.
Thiago went agonisingly close to secure the points for the visitors late on as he burst into the box and smashed the ball goalwards, but Przemyslaw Tyton managed to get a hand on the blistering strike and push it onto the post.
In the end, the miss didn’t matter as Costa unleashed an unstoppable effort from long range into the bottom left corner in the 89th minute to end any hope the home side may have had of salvaging a point.
Stuttgart would be well within their rights to feel aggrieved at coming away from the match with nothing to show for their efforts.