10. Matchday

VfB StuttgartVfB Stuttgart
4: 1
VfL Bochum 1848VfL Bochum 1848

Sa,  15.10.202215:30 Bundesliga

An eventful week for our next opponents. Pellegrino Matarazzo had to pack his bags after exactly 100 league matches, with the American being sacked after a narrow defeat to Union Berlin. Won’t make our preparations any easier. Our LOOK AHEAD at VfB Stuttgart:

THE TEAM

After the last-minute escape from relegation last season, Stuttgart wanted to get into safer waters as early as possible in the new season. This has not worked out so far, VfB is the only Bundesliga team without a win, after we beat Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday. So it's a fight for a place above the relegation line. Stuttgart are missing the goals of Sasa Kalajdzic, who joined Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers shortly before the end of the transfer period. A painful loss, but even if he had stayed at the Neckar, the goal-scoring Austrian would not have been able to help. Shortly after the transfer, he tore his cruciate ligament resulting in a long break. Orel Mangala also left for the Premier League in the summer, and both players supplied VfB a good 30 million in transfer income. The club invested in Josha Vagnoman (HSV, absent due to injury), Kostas Mavropanos (previously on loan from Arsenal), as well as attacking players Luca Pfeiffer (FC Midtjylland), Serhou Guirassy (Stade Rennes) and Juan José Perea (PAS Giannina). Most recently, the former Dortmund player Dan-Axel Zagadou also joined the team.

THE HEAD COACH

Our text on Pellegrino Matarazzo was already written. But that's the way it is in the football business - the online department had to adapt this article  at short notice. Michael Wimmer will be the main man on the Stuttgart bench in the duel with VfL on Saturday, previously one of the assistant coaches. The 42-year-old has plenty of experience. He assisted Michael Köllner at 1. FC Nürnberg, Manuel Baum and Martin Schmidt at FC Augsburg, as well as Tim Walter and Matarazzo at Stuttgart. Until the new head coach arrives, Wimmer, who was born in Dingolfingen, will take over. For him, it's a matter of getting VfB back on track quickly, especially in terms of results. After all, there have already been some good performances this season, such as the draw against Bayern and the narrow defeat against Union Berlin.

THE ENCOUNTER

Two draws last season, 0-0 and 1-1. In total, VfL Bochum have played VfB Stuttgart 66 times in the Bundesliga. Exactly half of these games went to Saturday's hosts, so there is a lot of catching up to do. Accordingly, you have to go back far in the list of encounters to find the last blue-and-white victory by the banks of the River Neckar. In 1987, it was a 4-2 win to VfL Bochum - back then Ata Lameck was still on the pitch with Hermann Gerland coaching the team. In our following 24 competitive games at VfB, there was a maximum of one point. It's about time.   

A defeat that reads clearly, VfL were second best in Stuttgart. The score-line may flatter the hosts though, they were decesive in front of the goal and took advantage of the blue and white mistakes.

Last weekend, VfL Bochum 1848 achieved their long-awaited first win of the season. The result was a convincing 3:0 against Eintracht Frankfurt. The next important Bundesliga match was at VfB Stuttgart. Head coach Thomas Letsch made only one change in personnel. Kevin Stöger started in place of Patrick Osterhage.

This is how the game went:

1' The ball is rolling. Let's go, VfL!

2' There's no such thing... not even three minutes played and already there's a penalty for VfB. Correct decision, Soares committed the foul.

3' Stuttgart take the lead. Silas converts the penalty safely.

6' The reaction of VfL is there. Holtmann brings the ball sharply into the sixteen, Zagadou can clear.

10' Stuttgart win more duels. We are finding it difficult to get control of the game. Many unnecessary fouls.

13' First good attack from us! Masovic gets the ball in midfield, sees Förster. Our number 10 is bursting with confidence, runs over an opponent. At least he gets our first corner.

13' Holtmann finishes after the corner, not really hit.

14' Nice cross from Holtmann. Not much was missing, Hofmann could have nodded it in.

16' First yellow card of the game. Goes to Förster.

22' VfB remains dangerous. This time it was Millot who had the 2:0 on his foot.

22' Now it's happened. Ahamada scores, Stuttgart leads 2:0. Bitter.

25' The start was anything but optimal for the blue and white team. Have to shake that off quickly now to maintain chances here.

27' Second corner for us. It ends up with Stöger, who shoots over the goal from 30 metres.

28' We're improving! Really good attack. Hofmann is a bit too unselfish, Stöger's shot is caught.

29' GOOOOOAL for VfL! And that was the very best of play! Zolli has netted. Beforehand, Förster passed the ball on to Stöger with a back-heel pass, who served Zolli perfectly at the far post. Only 1:2 from our point of view. Let's go!

30' Our goal came at a psychologically important time. It's all in here again.

36' Hofmann with the finish, a bit too little power behind it. Idea was good.

40' In the meantime, a completely even game, after we needed time to find our way into the game.

44' Sosa has too much space and shoots. However, not placed enough, Riemann catches the thing.

45'+1 Dangerous free-kick position for VfB, following Soares' foul on Silas.

45'+2 Sosa's free-kick whizzes just past Riemann's box.

Half-time: It goes into the break with 1:2 from our point of view. We overslept at the beginning, conceded two early goals. The reaction after that was good, we got better and better into the game. The equaliser came after a very strong attack. Both had their chances, everything open for the second half.

46' Second half is underway. Zolli stays out, our new number 22 - Christopher Antwi-Adjei.

48' Concentrated start into the second half. Our boys are right there.

49' Top dribbling from Antwi-Adjei. He falls, but for referee Christian Dingert apparently no foul.

52' Dangerous ball from Masovic to Hofmann, who extends. In the end, Holtmann can't quite reach it and the Stuttgart keeper has the ball.

55' The start of the second half seems much more concentrated than it was at the beginning of the game. Something has to happen here!

57' Antwi-Adjei draws attention to himself. He wins the ball at the opposing corner flag and passes to Stöger. He shoots directly. Müller makes a save.

58' On the counterattack, VfB send in a dangerous pass. But our number one makes a strong save against Silas.

60' Holtmann has a great chance to equalise. I don't believe it... Stuttgart's defence is in collective sleep. Our number 17, however, fails to clear the keeper Müller.

61' Hofmann's next shot is directly behind and misses to the right. VfL is dominating the game so far in this second half.

64' Out of nowhere, 3:1 for VfB Stuttgart. Counterattack down the left. Sosa with a low ball to Silas, who takes it and scores with a low shot into the corner.

68' Of course, the score is extremely bitter after it was our turn. A combination via Stöger and Hofmann leads to the next corner. The VfL does not give up.

70' Offensive change for our VfL. Our captain "Toto" Losilla leaves the pitch. Our new number 33 - Silvère Ganvoula - comes in.

71' Foul by Gamboa, who gets a yellow card. The ensuing free kick leads to a tangle in the sixteen and 4:1 for Stuttgart. The goal is scored by their captain Endo.

78' After a long injury interruption, the game continues and VfL combine forward. Holtmann hits the far post from an acute angle.

78' That was also the last action of our number 17, who is replaced by Patrick Osterhage.

81' The game is getting a bit wild now. There's a lot of back and forth with lots of space on both sides.

86' Antwi-Adjei again with a long throw-in. As a result, Förster's shot is blocked.

87' Stuttgart counter-attack. They play well. In the end, not much is missing and Silas shoots the ball into the crossbar.

89' Another Stuttgart free kick from half field. The header comes onto the goal after the free-kick cross. Riemann keeps the ball safe.

90' Double change for our VfL. Hofmann and Förster have retired. Osei-Tutu and Lampropoulos come on for five minutes of injury time.

90+2' Stuttgart attack again on the left. Führich's shot is blocked by Masovic.

90+5' Final whistle in Stuttgart.

Full-time: A defeat in which we were at least at times the team that dominated the game. We overslept at the beginning of the first half, then we got better and better into the game and connected through Zoller. In the second half, the 2:2 was in the air. But in the end, we won't take any points back to Bochum.

There are only three days left before the second round of the DFB Cup at SV Elversberg (Tuesday, 18 October, 20:45).

VfL Bochum 1848: Riemann - Soares, Ordets, Mašović, Gamboa, Losilla (70. Ganvoula), Stöger, Förster (90. Lampropoulos), Holtmann (78. Osterhage), Hofmann (90. Osei-Tutu), Zoller (46. Antwi-Adjei)

Goals: 1:0 Silas (3rd, penalty), 2:0 Ahamada (22nd), 2:1 Zoller (29th), 3:1 Silas (68th), 4:1 Endo (71st)

Thomas Letsch (Head Coach VfL Bochum 1848): For me, the result doesn't really reflect the course of the game. We played a good game overall, even if it sounds strange after a 1-4 loss. We were quite dominant at times and had a great chance to equalise and make it 2-2. Then we conceded the equaliser in return. Many things were decent, but in the decisive areas we played worse than VfB. In the end, we made it too easy for the opponent to score goals. That's why we're going home without a point.

Michael Wimmer (interim coach VfB Stuttgart): We started the game really well and deserved to take a 2-0 lead. After that, Bochum were more active and the better team. Also at the beginning of the second half we did not implement what we had planned. Bochum were clearly better in this phase. Florian Müller kept us in the game with his save against Gerrit Holtmann. Our third goal came out of nowhere, after that we played it out with determination.

Simon Zoller: We were not consistent enough with our few chances. The 1-3 felt like it broke our neck. In the end, 1-4 is too high in my opinion, because apart from the first 20 minutes, we played a good away game. We have to defend more consistently and defend simple mistakes - like the one for the penalty - better. We knew it was going to be a tough season. The season is still long, we showed last week that we can hold our own.

Philipp Förster: It hurts very, very much when you come here and get hit 1-4 on the chin. Nevertheless, I think we played a good game. Unfortunately, we weren't effective enough on the offensive and defensively we conceded goals too easily. That makes it difficult to win in the end. That's what we have to work on, to get rid of the individual mistakes.

Gerrit Holtmann: We conceded the first goal far too early, in the second or third minute. We couldn't get the intensity on the pitch like we did against Frankfurt. We could have defended the first goal two or three times earlier. But we didn't give up and kept pushing. The result is too high in the end. It's strange that we have such a hard time away from home. That was already the case last season, but this season it's even more extreme.