Sandro Schwarz named an unchanged starting eleven from the team who started the competitive 3-2 loss against Bayern on Saturday. There were also no changes on the bench. VfB interim head coach Michael Wimmer made three changes from the 3-1 loss against Borussia Mönchengladbach, bringing in Hiroki Itō, Lilian Egloff and Silas Katompa Mvumpa in place of Pascal Stenzel, Luca Pfeiffer (both on the bench) and Chris Führich (out due to muscular problems).
Rapid start for Stuttgart– Lukébakio replies
Stuttgart got off to the perfect start, withTiago Tomas sliding the ball in behind the Hertha defence to Serhou Guirassy, who hammered home past a helpless Oliver Christensen after just three minutes. Hertha searched for an instant reply and almost found it as Lucas Tousart fired just wide from the edge of the box (5’). The next chance fell for Wimmer’s men after 16 minutes, as Guirassy shot narrowly wide following a breakaway led by Tomas. Hertha fired back at the other end to draw level: A precise cross from Jonjoe Kenny found Dodi Lukébakio at the back post, and as against Bayern, he made no mistake in burying a volley into the far corner (19’). The hosts attempted to retake the lead, but Christensen was equal to two efforts from Tomas (22‘, 25‘).
At the other end, two Marvin Plattenhardt corners into the Stuttgart box looked dangerous but neither created good chances on goal, with a header from Tousart being cleared off the line, before Davie Selke headed over under pressure (35‘, 38‘). Christensen later made a good save from an Itō header following a corner (44’).
Tousart’s shot cleared off the line
Stuttgart began the second half with the momentum, but Hertha worked hard without the ball, playing Egloff offside as he shot into the side netting (53’), and Christensen saved from Borna Sosa (56’). Schwarz brought fresh legs on up front and in midfield after an hour, with Ivan Šunjić, Chidera Ejuke and Wilfried Kanga coming on. Two subs combined moments later, with Kanga laying the ball off to Šunjić, whose shot was well-saved by VfB goalkeeper Müller (67’). Tousart then had his shot from the following corner cleared off the line by Mavropanos! The hosts also brought on fresh legs in this period, hinting at an exciting end to the game.
Defeat with the last kick of the game
After a clash of heads betweenŠunjić und Stuttgart’s Endō there was a lengthy delay, before the Japan international had to be substituted. The next good goal-scoring chance went the Blue-Whites way, with Ejuke firing over from the edge of the area (85’). In the seven minutes of additional time, Christensen made a fine save at full stretch to deny a header from substitute Enzo Millot, but he was powerless to stop the last chance of the game. With the final play of the second half, Mavropanos headed home from a corner, giving the home side a 2-1 and Hertha a bitter last minute defeat (90+8’).
VfB Stuttgart: Müller – Anton, Mavropanos, Itō, Sosa – Ahamada, Endō (C) (83′ Karazor) – Silas (74′ Pfeiffer), Egloff (64′ Millot), Tiago Tomás (73′ Vagnoman) – Guirassy
Hertha BSC: Christensen – Kenny, Rogel, Kempf, Plattenhardt (C) – Richter (61′ Ejuke), Tousart, Serdar (61′ Šunjić), Boëtius – Lukébakio, Selke (61′ Kanga)
Tore: 1-0 Guirassy (3′), 1-1 Lukébakio (19′), 2-1 Mavropanos (90+8′)
Referee: Frank Willenborg
Yellow cards: Mavropanos, Egloff, Sosa – Kempf, Richter