Bayern Munich 2-2 Stuttgart: Coman sees red as visitors keep survival dreams alive
A fighting performance from Stuttgart earned them a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich, giving Pellegrino Matarazzo's team a chance of avoiding a relegation play-off with one round of matches remaining in the Bundesliga.
Goals from Tiago Tomas and Sasa Kalajdzic either side of strikes from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller secured a point at the Allianz Arena, while both teams missed other gilt-edged chances to seal a win in Sunday's exciting contest.
Stuttgart still sit in 16th place, three points behind Hertha Berlin in 15th, but have a significantly superior goal difference, and so will be safe if they can beat Cologne at home next week and Hertha lose at Borussia Dortmund.
Already crowned champions Bayern – who had Kingsley Coman sent off late on – fielded a strong team and had plenty of opportunities, but some chaotic defending provided Stuttgart with enough chances to take a point.
Stuttgart took a surprise lead in the eighth minute when Kalajdzic flicked a header into the path of Omar Marmoush, whose low cross from the right was powerfully side-footed into the roof of the net from the edge of the box by Tomas.
Bayern were level in the 35th minute after the ball was worked out to Gnabry, who cut inside Borna Sosa before firing a shot across goal that appeared to be going in anyway before it was inadvertently sent over the line by Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Julian Nagelsmann's men were then ahead just before the break as Muller took a pass from Dayot Upamecano and turned beautifully before prodding the ball into the net low to the goalkeeper's left.
The relegation strugglers were level seven minutes into the second half after Kalajdzic rose above Tanguy Nianzou to thunder in a header off a dinked cross by Sosa, and Austria international should have put Stuttgart in front moments later when played in on goal, but he slid a tame effort into the hands of Neuer.
Substitute Philipp Forster also had an opportunity to be a hero just after coming on but he dragged his left-footed effort wide after getting on the end of a Kalajdzic flick, while Robert Lewandowski had his first real chance of the game with 14 minutes remaining, but saw his shot deflected onto the bar.
The hosts also lost Coman to a red card in stoppage time after the winger reacted to a Mavropanos challenge as the game ended all square.
What does it mean? A good time to play the champions
It would not be entirely fair to say Bayern were on the proverbial beach against Stuttgart. Nagelsmann named a strong team and, at times, they played their usual brand of excellent pass-and-move football.
However, there was certainly a softer underbelly than usual from the champions, who conceded 15 shots and an expected goals against of 1.65.
This means Bayern have claimed just one point from games against Mainz and Stuttgart since sealing the title against Dortmund on matchday 31.
Gnabry Serge's through Stuttgart again
Gnabry was directly involved in all five goals (three goals, two assists) in Bayern's 5-0 win over Stuttgart in the reverse fixture, and he was the man to get his team back into this one too.
The Germany international has been in impressive form of late, and it will be interesting to see what is next for him, with reports he is reluctant to sign an extension to his current deal in Munich, which expires at the end of next season.
Too little, too late for VfB?
While this was a useful result for Matarazzo's men, it was the quality and determination of the performance that stood out most.
However, with Stuttgart having won only one of their 17 Bundesliga away games this season (D8 L8), the fans will be wondering where this kind of performance has been all season, with a lot of work still to do to avoid a relegation play-off next week.
Key Opta facts
- Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich played his 200th Bundesliga game.
- Gnabry was directly involved in all six Bayern goals against Stuttgart this season in the Bundesliga (four goals, two assists). Wearing a Bayern shirt, he has not scored as many direct goals against any other club in the competition (eight).
- Bayern winger Gnabry has scored four Bundesliga goals since the beginning of April – only Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland topped that during this period (five goals).
- Muller ended a run of nine goalless games without scoring, a run stretching back to the beginning of February.
- Bayern last had 33 points after 16 games in the second half of the season in 2014-15 (31 points).
The Bundesliga season comes to a close next Saturday as Bayern travel to Wolfsburg, while Stuttgart host Cologne.