Germany: Bundesliga
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S. Guirassy (64)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Stuttgart crash Dortmund's "Westfalen Party", Leipzig retain fourth place

VfB Stuttgart spoiled the celebrations in Dortmund's home stadium on Saturday evening. An affair that began with a spectacular choreo commemorating 50 years since the opening of the Westfalensatdion (Signal Iduna Park) ended with Dortmund conceding their top-four place after a 0-1 loss. 

RB Leipzig will wrap up the weekend in fourth place following their 4-1 away victory over Freiburg earlier today. Stuttgart's incredible campaign continues. The Swabians are now level on points with FC Bayern München in the race for second place. 
Borussia Dortmund have failed to respond to RB Leipzig's 4-1 victory over SC Freiburg earlier today. In front of a packed house commemorating the 50th anniversary of North Rhine Westphalia's most famous footballing venue, Edin Terzic's BVB lost to Bundesliga sensations VfB Stuttgart for the second time this season. Sebastian Hoeneß' Württembergers completely crashed the Dortmund party and - thanks to Bayern's loss earlier today - are now level on points with the German giants in second place. Dortmund are also level on points with Leipzig, but remain in fifth place on goal differential.

Terzic made two changes to the XI that bested Bayern last week. Regular #1 Gregor Kobel was back between the sticks in place of Alexander Meyer. Midfielder Marcel Sabitzer also returned from suspension to take the starting place of Felix Nmecha. Hoeneß also made two changes to his previous XI. The VfB trainer turned to Atakan Karazor to replace the suspended Waldemar Anton. Jamie Leweling was also preferred to Mahmoud Dahoud. Enzo Millot moved into midfield whilst Leweling took over for Millot on the right attacking flank. Angelo Stiller moved back into central defense in order to preserve Hoeneß' previous 4-2-3-1 formation.

After a gorgeous stadium-wide pre-match choreo to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Westfalenstadion (Signal Iduna Park), both sides got off to a robust start. Nerves nevertheless ensured that some innovative attacking approach play on behalf of both teams lacked the finishing touch. Further interruptions due to pyro smoke, fouls, and injuries prevented either side from finding much of a rhythm after a lively opening ten minutes. Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy headed a fine chance wide in the 25th. At the other end, Karim Adeyemi forced a save out of Alexander Nübel in the 31st. Apart from these two cases, there were no real breakthroughs in the goalless opening 45.

The stalemate largely continued after the restart, somewhat aided by the tense atmosphere and additional interruptions due to pyro smoke. The Westphalian hosts were able to get a couple of efforts on target, but nothing that especially challenged Nübel. The Swabian guests, on the other hand, were able to make their hitherto best opportunity of the match count. A quick counter following a misplaced pass from BVB skipper Emré Can ended with Guirassy burying a low-driven Leweling cross for the 1-0. Dortmund were nearly able to provide an immediate response, but Niclas Füllkrug unfortunately headed over the bar in the 66th.

Hoeneß' side defended very deep after attaining the slender advantage, occasionally looking dangerous on the counter. BVB defender Nico Schlotterbeck made a hash out of the best opportunity for the hosts to restore parity in the 80th. Nübel spilled the rebound of a Nmecha header directly in front of Schlotterbeck following a Jadon Sancho corner. The out-of-favor German national team defender didn't help his case of returning to Bundestrainer Julian Nagelsmann's good graces much by skying his finish deep into the bleachers.

Another Dortmund defender left out of the latest round of DFB call-ups, Mats Hummels, couldn't quite reach a layoff from BVB sub Youssoufa Moukoko at 90+1. That would constitute the last real chance for the hosts, even as the match went deep into ten minutes of allotted injury time. Guirassy found himself irritated at having missed out on a golden opportunity to put the game to bed at 90+6. The VfB scoring sensation finished far too forcefully despite having Kobel beaten.

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