Simon Terodde came to the rescue on Sunaday afternoon as his brace secured a 2-1 victory over Sandhausen in the entertaining 2.Bundesliga clash.
Stuttgart head coach Hannes Wolf named an unchanged starting eleven for the first time this season against Sandhausen, while the away side made four changes from their cup defeat against Schalke in mid-week. Tim Kister, Damian Roßbach, Denis Linsmayer all dropped to the bench, while Vunguidica missed out due to injurty. This meant Kenan Kocak brought in Daniel Gordon, Leart Paqarada, Daniel Lukasik and Manuel Stiefler.
The opening stages of the game saw plenty of possession for the home side, however no chances were created as Sandhausen’s shape was hard to break down. After the ten minute mark the game started to open up and gaps started to appear, before that the only opportunity saw Takuma Asano provide an early cross from the left and it was just in front of the free Simon Terodde, who couldn’t make contact.
Stuttgart continued to apply the early pressure and had more of the chances, Julian Green came close when he shifted the ball inside from the left to have an effort on goal, Marco Knaller was at his near post to deny the effort and palm the ball out for a corner.
The resulting corner should’ve put the home side ahead, the delivery found its way through to Timo Baumgartl, who couldn’t adjust his body and directed the ball wide of the goal from just a few yards out.
On the half hour mark Sandhausen were able to create some problems for the league leaders, two chances came from corners, firstly Daniel Gordon fired over from eight yards out as he struggled to direct a quick delivery on target. Following that attempt a minute later Tim Knipping broke free and headed just wide at the back post.
The tempo of the game started to dwindle and the wide players on both teams started to have less impact on the game, Stuttgart’s Carlos Mané, Green and Asano were causing problems early on with their pace, but as the half came to a close they were struggling to cause problems for Sandhausen.
Sandhausen before today’s game hadn’t conceded in four league games and it was going to be something special or a terrible mistake to see the ball fly past Knaller. Unfortunately for the away side, right on half time Mané skipped past two players out wide and as he came into the area Leart Paqarada made a poor decision to try and win the ball and there was only one outcome. Mané went down under Paqarada’s slide tackle and it gave Terodde the chance to score from the spot. Terodde stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom right corner as Knaller dived the wrong way, extending his goal tally against Sandhausen to four goals in three games.
Stuttgart started the second half very cautiously and struggled to get outside their own half as Sandhausen enjoyed plenty of possession, one positive for the home side was that their guests struggled to create any clear cut chances with all their possession.
Just as the game ticked over the hour mark Stuttgart continued to allow Sandhausen possession and they were soon punished for it. Richard Sukuta-Pasu came off the bench for the away side and with his first touch he levelled things inside a minute of being on the pitch. Thomas Pledl broke down the right and his wonderful cross picked out Sukuta-Pasu who fired home from three yards out for his first goal since September.
The Swabians came agonisingly close to regaining the lead in the 68th minute, Kevin Großkreutz was played in after Mané lifted the ball over the top for the full back and the former Borussia Dortmund player lofted his effort over Knaller and was only denied by the frame of the goal.
Stuttgart’s Jean Zimmer was gifted a golden chance to put his side ahead when a Sandhausen clearance cannoned off Terodde and set him through on goal, unfortunately for the home fans Zimmer couldn’t find the back of the net as Knaller rushed out to make a good stop to keep his side level.
Straight down the other end Sandhausen had an even better chance to take the lead, Pledl once more broke free down the right and once again provided an excellent cross for Sukuta-Pasu, this time however the forward failed to fire home and instead put his effort wide when it was easier to score.
With five minutes remaining the hosts managed to grab a vital winning goal, Mané crossed from the right and Terodde produced a moment of magic as he acrobatically finished with a stunning scissor-kick which flew into the bottom left corner. Terodde’s second of the game moved him level at the top of the scoring charts and extended Stuttgart’s lead at the top.
Sandhausen came close to a late equaliser when Daniel Lukasik shot from just inside the area, however despite their late pressure they couldn’t find the back of the net again and Stuttgart managed to hold on for the three points.
Stuttgart extend their lead at the top of the table to five points ahead of their trip to Heidenheim next week, while Sandhausen remain in seventh place ahead of another away trip next week when they visit Kaiserslautern.