The two most exciting teams in the Bundesliga this season faced off at the mHP Arena as VfB Stuttgart hosted league leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
The first half was dominated by Stuttgart for the most part as Leverkusen struggled to grab a hold of the game and insert their usual control of the game. Stuttgart had several chances and if it were not for several saves from Lukas Hradecky and a goal-line stop from Edmond Tapsoba then Stuttgart could have easily taken the lead. VfB were rewarded for their efforts just before halftime when Chris Führich scored a tap-in.
In the second half, Leverkusen immediately provided a reply when Florian Wirtz converted a Victor Boniface cutback. Leverkusen would dominate most of the second half, but Stuttgart could withstand the constant pressure from the league leaders.
This is Leverkusen’s second draw in a row after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund but they still extend their lead at the top of the table after Bayern Munich’s loss on Saturday.
Alexander Nübel – 6
Josha Vagnoman – 6
Waldemar Anton – 7 – A defensive rock to withstand the Leverkusen attacks throughout the game. Like much of the Stuttgart squad, he has developed tremendously under Sebastian Hoeneß and the 27-year-old has grown into a leader at the club.
Dan-Axel Zagadou – 7 – Similar to Anton, Zagadou now looks like the defender that Borussia Dortmund wanted when they originally signed the centre-back from PSG. The 24-year-old has formed a formidable partnership in central defence with Anton and has proved that he is just as important as the likes of Chris Führich and Sehrou Guirassy further forward.
Maximilian Mittelstädt – 6
Enzo Millot – 5
Anton Karazor – 6
Angelo Stiller – 6
Chris Führich – 7
Deniz Undav – 6
Sehoru Guirassy – 6
Others: Silas (5), Jamie Leweling (5), Leonidas Stergiou (5), Woo-Yeong Jeong (-), Anthony Rouault (-)
Lukas Hradecky – 7 – In the first half, Hradecky made several key saves to keep out Stuttgart and without him, Leverkusen could have easily lost control of the game in the first half. Hradecky was not relied upon as much in the second half as Leverkusen controlled the game more.
Odlion Kossounou – 7
Jonathan Tah – 6
Edmond Tapsoba – 6
Jeremie Frimpong – 6
Exequiel Palacios – 6
Granit Xhaka – 6
Alejandro Grimaldo – 6
Amine Adli – 5
Florian Wirtz – 7 – Was the main driving force in the second half for Leverkusen. Wirtz started the half off strongly and was rewarded with the equaliser. If Leverkusen are to really go toe to toe with Bayern this season then it is crucial Wirtz remains fit and can influence the game.
Victor Boniface – 6 – In recent weeks, Boniface’s impact on games has not been as great as in the earlier stages of the season but he has developed a knack of still influencing the game even when he was not playing well. Against Dortmund, he scored the equaliser and today he provided the assist for Wirtz.
Others: Jonas Hofmann (5), Patrik Schick (5), Piero Hincapié (-)
GGFN | Jack Meenan