Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(1 - 1)
X C. Führich (11), D. Undav (42), S. Guirassy (83)
N. Füllkrug (36)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

15:30 Kickoffs: Guirassy shoots Stuttgart back to winning ways, Bayern claim top spot in table

German record champions FC Bayern München are back atop the Bundesliga table for the evening after taking out Heidenheim 4-2 at home in the latest set of Bundesliga 15:30 kickoffs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen will need to win against 1. FC Union Berlin tomorrow in order to reclaim first place.

Two title aspirants chasing Bayern - VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund - squared off at the Mercedes Benz Arena in the capital of Baden-Württemberg in a match with massive implications for the title race. Sebastian Hoeneß' Stuttgart ended up prevailing 2-1 and will conclude the weekend in 3rd place. 

There were two draws in the other two fixtures kicking off concurrently on Saturday afternoon. Mainz and Augsburg - two relegation-threatened sides operating under new coaching regimes - drew their respective affairs with Hoffenheim and Darmstadt. 
In a completely one-sided affair at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart, Sebastian Hoeneß' VfB were able to send Edin Terzic's BVB to their second consecutive league defeat. Stuttgart claimed a vital three points over fellow title aspirants Dortmund. Serhou Guirassy retuned to action for the winning side, ultimately netting the winning goal off the bench. Stuttgart overcame a missed penalty and significant finishing problems to

BVB trainer Terzic made no changes to the XI that delivered a "satisfying" home win against Newcastle in the Champions' League on Tuesday. Hoeneß employed three changes to the side that lost 0-2 away at Heidenheim last Sunday. Jamie Leweling, Enzo Millot, and Maximilian Mittelstädt started over Anthony Rouault, Woo-Yeong Jeong, and Silas. Bundesliga goal-scoring sensation Guirassy was once again fit to serve as an option off of Honeß' bench for the first time since injuring a thigh injury in week eight.

Lively start from the Swabian hosts left one feeling that the first-goal would belong to the home side. It very much appeared as if this would come to pass in the 10th when Stuttgart were awarded a penalty. BVB keeper Gregor Kobel hacked down Deniz Undav after Waldemar Anton played his teammate through with a quality long ball. Kobel nevertheless redeemed himself immediately with a save of Chris Führich's spot kick. The Württembergers were forced to contend with the fact that they had missed three penalties in their last three matches.

Hoeneß' crew still kept the pressure up, racking up a very impressive 9:0 chance-creation ratio by the time the half-hour-mark came. Dortmund were extremely lucky to escape the opening goal in several instances amid all the one-way-traffic. Dortmund netted the 1-0 completely against the run-of-play in the 36th. Niclas Füllkrug was able to tuck home a Julian Ryerson cross that propitiously bounced off VfB defender Dan-Axel Zagadou. The fluky opener came on the BVB's first and only chance of the game.

The hosts were able to restore parity shortly before it was time to head into the tunnel. Dortmund's flattering lead was erased via an Undav goal in the 42nd. Leweling and Hiroki Ito supplied the set-up-work on the highly-deserved equalizer. Knowing full well that the 1-1 scoreline didn't reflect the throughly poor performance of his side, Terzic pulled the trigger on a double-change at the half. Marco Reus and Donyell Malen came on for Julian Brandt and Karim Adeyemi. A radical 4-2-2-2 tactical re-format aided the guests immensely.

Matters neutralized a bit after the restart. After Führich spurned a fantastic opportunity in the 54th, the Westphalians were able settle matters down and put together a few quality attack builds of their own. Marcel Sabitzer hit the post in the 62nd. Giovanni Reyna - introduced in the 63rd - ran a series of quality BVB forward charges. Guirassy returned to the pitch amid a standing ovation in the 67th. The Guinean goal-machine wasn't much of a factor from open play, but would eventually receive an opportunity to add to his league-goals-tally in the 83rd.

Kobel once again conceded a penalty with a careless tackle on the subbed-on Silas in the box. Guirassy's remained ice-veined from the spot in netting his 15th league goal of the current campaign. Another goal might have been forthcoming from the dominant home side, but Silas could only hit the side netting in the 87th. Defeated and dejected Dortmund made almost no effort to chase an equalizer and the encounter wrapped up with a 2-1 scoreline.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga's 15:30 kickoffs, German giants FC Bayern München were able to claim top spot in the table with a 4-2 win over Heidenheim. In a case not dissimilar to what Bayer 04 Leverkusen had to deal with against Hoffenheim last week, a blitz comeback from the underdogs nearly turned the match on its head. Two FCH goals between the 67th and 70th cancelled out a Harry Kane brace recorded in the first half. Bayern subs Raphaël Guerreiro and Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting managed to punch back with goals of their own and the defending champs ended up winning convincingly.

New FC Augsburg trainer Jess Thorup maintains an undefeated record through four rounds of action. The Danish trainer's Fuggerstädter traded goals with Pellegrino Matarazzo's Hoffenheim in a 1-1 home draw. Thorup has won two and drawn two since taking the reins at Augsburg. Interim Mainz trainer Jan Siewert also remains undefeated in his short tenure with his new club. Mainz followed up last week's upset win against Leipzig with a 0-0 draw against Darmstadt.

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