Berlin, Dec 11 (IANS): Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz equalized following Chris Fuhrich’s opener for Stuttgart, resulting in a 1-1 draw at the conclusion of the 14th round in Bundesliga.
Stuttgart delivered a strong start on home soil and put Leverkusen on the back foot, but Fuhrich and Joshua Vagnoman were unable to find the net despite promising chances in the opening period.
Leverkusen took some time to find their footing but came close in the ninth minute when Amine Adli’s shot hit the woodwork, following Viktor Boniface’s precise through ball.
Boniface remained a key figure but was unable to beat Stuttgart goalkeeper Alexander Nubel in the 24th minute.
Stuttgart countered with two opportunities as Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky neutralized attempts from Serhou Guirassy and Fuhrich in quick succession.
However, Hradecky was unable to prevent Stuttgart’s opening goal as Vagnoman’s pass set up Fuhrich to tap home from close range in the 40th minute.
Stuttgart’s lead was brief, as Leverkusen staged a comeback after the break when Boniface assisted Wirtz, who effortlessly scored the equalizer.
The Bundesliga leaders had a chance to take the lead shortly after, but Granit Xhaka’s effort struck only the right post.
As a result, Bayer Leverkusen remains at the top of the standings, four points ahead, while third-placed Stuttgart missed an opportunity to overtake defending champions Bayern Munich.
“The first half wasn’t good. We had problems keeping Stuttgart at bay because they created a lot of pressure. The best thing about the first half was the score. We made amendments as a result the second half was totally different. We controlled the proceedings and created chances. It is a fair outcome,” said Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso.
“We played very well in the first half but the goal we concede after the restart pulled the plug for us mentally. We didn’t recover from that but I am still delighted with the result as Leverkusen is a top team,” said Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness.
In the other match on Sunday, Cologne and Mainz settled for a goalless draw.