Stuttgart secure Champions League football

Stuttgart knew before a ball was kicked this afternoon that they would be playing Champions League football next season. But to beat Bayern Munich on home turf and then to be able to celebrate in front of a sold out MHPArena makes their incredible story all the more captivating.

Their return to Champions League football was secured when Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, meaning fifth place would guarantee a spot in next season’s competition. And with VfB sitting third with three games remaining – before today – that meant Eintracht Frankfurt, who sat sixth, would be unable to reach the Swabians.

Unlikely scorer Leonidas Stergiou opened the scoring for Stuttgart in the 29th minute before Harry Kane – who moves closer to breaking Robert Lewandowski’s record – equalised from the spot. VfB then left it late to secure three points with Jeong Woo-yeong (83′) and Silas (90+3′) securing a statement win for the hosts.

Alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart have been playing some of the best football in the Bundesliga this season. But not only that, their return to Champions League football for the first time since the 2009/10 season is even more staggering when you take into account the state that VfB have been in over the last five to seven seasons.

The Swabians have been relegated twice and have featured in successive relegation playoffs since 2016. But the arrival of Sebastian Hoeneß has steadied the ship, and it’s a testament to the excellent job that the former Bayern II coach has done in such a short period.

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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