2014/15 German Bundesliga, 2014/2015 German Bundesliga
  • Christian Gentner (27')
  • Martin Harnik (35')
  • Gojko Kacar (12')

VfB Stuttgart 2-1 Hamburg SV

Stuttgart climbed off the foot of the Bundesliga and leap-frogged Hamburg in the standings with a 2-1 win over their relegation rivals at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Gojko Kacar gave Hamburg the lead, but Christian Gentner and Martin Harnik cancelled that out to earn the Swabians a thoroughly deserved win which, for the first time in months, took them out of the relegation zone.
Hamburg slipped into the bottom two, on the other hand, with the fate of both sides to be determined on the final day of the season.
Stuttgart, branded ``monkeys'' by their coach Huub Stevens in an extraordinary attempt to motivate them on Friday, started brightly with a good early wave of pressure resulting in a shot on goal from Daniel Didavi.
However, it was Hamburg who took the lead with Kacar heading in from a left-wing corner with Sven Ulreich unable to keep the effort out, despite getting his hand to the ball.
It could have crushed Stuttgart, but instead it inspired them and they deservedly levelled with Gentner swivelling on a sixpence to turn the ball through Rene Adler's legs from close range.
Gentner almost added a second with a long-range effort before Harnik put the hosts in front.
He got to the ball just before his team-mate Didavi to lift it into the roof of the net with both Stuttgart players unmarked at the far post to do the damage.
It sparked a celebration which even brought a smile to Stevens' face, as the players all danced around like monkeys, in response to his pre-match jibe.
Timo Baumgartl and Didavi both went close in the second half as Stuttgart pushed for a third and a bit of breathing space, and the referee was spared having to make a difficult decision when Harnik went down over Adler's arm inside the penalty area, with the linesman's flag raised.
Filip Kostic went within a whisker of scoring a third goal for Stuttgart when his shot was touched by Adler on to his own crossbar.
Timo Werner then wasted their last chance with Adler denying him in a one-on-one, but Stuttgart held on to a priceless victory which leaves their destiny in their own hands next weekend.