Better, but not yet good enough: FC Augsburg must continue to tremble for relegation in the Bundesliga even under returnees Markus Weinzierl. The FCA lost the comeback of its former successful coach in the Swabian derby at VfB Stuttgart with 1: 2 (0: 1) and looks anxiously at the end of the season.
There it comes first to a direct duel with competitor Werder Bremen, before the extremely difficult away game at Bayern is at the end. Augsburg can draw courage from the significant increase in performance despite the 17th defeat in the season.
Philipp Förster (11th) and storm giant Sasa Kalajdzic (74th) with his 15th goal of the season finally gave Stuttgart a three-point after four defeats in a row. Florian Niederlechner (59th) had let Weinzierl hope for a point at his ex-club with his interim equalization. That it didn’t come to that was also due to the outstanding substitute keeper Fabian Bredlow from Stuttgart.
“We played a decent game, but when we conceded we fell into our old pattern,” said FCA professional Andre Hahn DAZN: “We showed good morals, created a lot of chances. If we take our chances, I won’t worry. We played as a team, that’s encouraging.”
Almost exactly five years to the day after his last game with FCA, Weinzierl didn’t leave much of the team that had lost to Cologne under his predecessor Heiko Herrlich (2: 3). He brought five fresh forces and relied on the 4-2-3-1 system that he had always preferred. The goal: to win the ball in the center – and to switch to the front quickly and without frills.
VfB Stuttgart defies injury concerns – Coulibaly injured
But the strongly weakened VfB kept up, Robert Massimo failed in return to goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz (3rd). Förster’s third goal of the season after Kalajdzic was dropped came from a coordination error between Reece Oxford and Rani Khedira.
The FCA, driven by the extremely committed Weinzierl, was not discouraged. Especially since Stuttgart in Massimo, who had to go out due to an injury to his left thigh (22nd), lost his most noticeable man. But goalkeeper Bredlow, representative of the ailing regular Gregor Kobel, prevented Marco Richter from equalizing twice (26./45.).
At the break, VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo also had to leave Konstantinos Mavropanos in the dressing room, who had to take a lot in the first half. The Stuttgart triple chain, newly formed around the substitute Atakan Karazor, came under increasing pressure, the equalization was logical.
Then Stuttgart also lost Tanguy Coulibaly (64th) due to injury. But Kalajdzic could be relied on: After a cross from Darko Churlinov, he headed to 2-1. Weinzierl was beside himself.