The high-flyers of VfB Stuttgart around 26-goal man Serhou Guirassy are preparing to wrest second place in the Bundesliga from FC Bayern Munich after storming into the Champions League.

Coach Sebastian Hoeneß’s team won 1-0 (0-0) at FC Augsburg a week after beating Bayern 3-1 and moved past Munich (69) with 70 points at the start of the penultimate matchday.

Goal scorer Guirassy was the match winner in front of 30,660 spectators in the 48th minute with his 26th goal of the season against Augsburg, who lost for the fourth time in a row and are probably no longer eligible for participation in the European Cup.

“We showed a strong performance, were in control of the game the whole time and didn’t let anything go wrong,” said Stuttgart striker Dennis Undav on the streaming service DAZN. “We want to crown the season, we didn’t want to let third place cool down. It was still hot a week or two ago. We’re eyeing second place a bit,” he said. And midfielder Angelos Stiller added: “It was clear to us that we wanted to break the 70-point mark.” Coach Sebastian Hoeneß was “very, very satisfied. We controlled the game.”

Despite the defeat, you can see in the games that you gave everything and lost to the better team, said Augsburg’s Niklas Dorsch. With a win on the last matchday against the undefeated champions Bayer Leverkusen you could still get into the European Cup. “A streak has to be broken at some point.” Captain Ermedin Demirovic also felt that “we can leave the field with our heads held high.”

Nübel prevents late equalization

For VfB, however, it was the 22nd win of the season – a club record in the Bundesliga. But Bayern can still strike back in the home game against VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday (5.30 p.m./DAZN). Becoming runner-up is still interesting because second place would entitle you to take part in the Supercup against Bayer Leverkusen if the German champions also win the DFB Cup final against second division team 1. FC Kaiserslautern on May 25th in Berlin as heavy favorites should.

The FCA fought back against the next defeat, but Stuttgart were simply stronger in the sold-out WWK Arena. For the goal of the evening, Enzo Millot hit a long ball to Guirassy. The attacker cleverly took the ball out of the air with his right foot and then successfully finished with his left. In the 88th minute, VfB goalkeeper Alexander Nübel prevented Augsburg’s captain Ermedin Demirovic from making it 1-1 with a brilliant performance.

Thorup relies on compactness at the FCA

After Augsburg’s last three defeats with a total of eleven goals conceded and the 1:5 in Dortmund a week ago, coach Jess Thorup reacted tactically and personnel-wise. The Dane returned to the back four and increased the compactness in front with three defensive midfielders. Deniz Undav tested FC goalkeeper Tomas Koubek with a powerful long-range shot (31′). And Koubek was lucky to direct a shot from the quick Jamie Leweling onto the post (36th).

But Augsburg didn’t limit themselves to defending in the last home game of the season. They tried with force and speed. Ruben Vargas shot a free kick from an ideal central position into the VfB wall (25th). Shortly afterwards, the Swiss international had to leave the field with adductor problems. Arne Maier took over the playmaker role for Vargas. Defender Felix Uduokhai scored twice more dangerously.

The early goal after the break caused the Stuttgart fans who had traveled with them to set off illegal pyrotechnics once again in their joy. The game was now very open. The Augsburg team ran in the Swabia duel, but VfB documented its maturation process under Hoeneß from almost being relegated to becoming a top national team.