In the Bundesliga's late game on Saturday, Augsburg edged out Stuttgart 2-1, despite being the second best side for large spells. The win sees Augsburg move into fifth, while Stuttgart stay second bottom.
Augsburg 2-1 Stuttgart
(Werner 7', Bobadilla 73' - Ginczek 22')
Just when it looked like something was happening in Stuttgart. Huub Stevens wasn't exactly a fanfare appointment, especially in the first few weeks of his reign, but recent form has kept them alive in the relegation fight. On matchday 29, that looked like it would be the case again. Poor composure and Raul Bobadilla's eighth goal of the season harshly ended Stuttgart's hope.
Marwin Hitz's clearance seemed inocuous, but when Sven Ulreich came out to clear with his head, things started to look dangerously familiar for Stuttgart. Alexander Esswein reacted first, put the ball back into the box and with Ulreich nowhere, Tobias Werner slid the ball into the open net.
Then Stuttgart did something they haven't most of the season. Alexandru Maxim reacted swiftly after being fouled to release Filip Kostic. The Serbian passed low to the far post and Daniel Ginczek slid in his fifth goal in four games. The former Dortmund youth striker's goals are Stuttgart's reward for their efforts.
Augsburg battle Stuttgart storm
Stuttgart were on top in what was an aggressive game. Hitz saved superbly to deny Ginczek from scoring almost an identical second, before Serey Die nearly curled one past the Swiss keeper with the outside of his boot. That continued in the second half as the visitors landed wave after wave of attack on the Augsburg goal, but they couldn't find a way through.
Unlike last week when Martin Harnik's pair of glaring misses against Werder Bremen were rendered irrelevant by Ginczek's last-minute winner, Stuttgart couldn't reward themselves and, like most sides in a relegation battle, they soon paid the price. Raul Bobadilla lashed home inside the box after a low cross from Markus Feulner and although Augsburg missed the chance to add more, the win moves them into fifth in the Bundesliga and keeps their remarkable European dreams alive.
Despite their best efforts, the relegation battle keeps a firm grip on Stuttgart. Their fate though will be in their hands. In their final five fixtures this season, they face fellow strugglers Freiburg, Hamburg and Paderborn. If they are to survive, their composure will have to improve.