Stuttgart parts ways with coach Wolf

AFP
Stuttgart, following its seventh loss in eight Bundesliga matches, is 15th in the table and just three points from the relegation places.
AFP

VfB Stuttgart coach Hannes Wolf was sacked by the German Bundesliga club on January 28, 2018.

VfB Stuttgart sacked head coach Hannes Wolf on Sunday after a 0-2 home defeat to Schalke 04 that left the club just three points above the Bundesliga relegation places.

"After intensive discussions late into the night, it has been decided that Hannes Wolf is no longer the coach of VfB Stuttgart," a statement on the club's website said.

It said a successor would be named in the next few days.

The 36-year-old Wolf, who helped Stuttgart win promotion back to Germany's top flight last season, has paid the price for picking up just four points in his last eight league games.

Stuttgart, following its seventh loss in eight Bundesliga matches, is 15th in the table and just three points from the relegation places.

Having been in charge since September 2016, Wolf is the seventh head coach to be sacked by a Bundesliga club this season.

He was one of four Bundesliga coaches under the age of 40 alongside Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann, 30, Werder Bremen's Florian Kohfeldt, 35, and Schalke's Domenico Tedesco, 32.

"This is a development that nobody wanted, so we are all disappointed, but in the end we all agreed that things could not go on like this," said Stuttgart president Wolfgang Dietrich.

Former VfL Wolfsburg coach Andries Jonker, ex-Schalke boss Markus Weinzierl and veteran Felix Magath, who won the 2009 Bundesliga title at Wolfsburg, have been linked to the vacancy.

Stuttgart signed veteran German international striker Mario Gomez, 32, in the winter break, but his arrival has failed to halt the slide.

The burly forward, back at the club where he started his career before joining Bayern Munich in 2009, is still waiting for his first goal after three games.

Also on Saturday, runaway Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich hit back after falling two goals behind in 12 minutes to hammer Hoffenheim 5-2 and stay on course for a sixth successive league title.

Borussia Dortmund snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to SC Freiburg after Nils Petersen's outrageous lob almost gave the Black Forest side a famous win, while lowly Hamburg SV held RB Leipzig 1-1 in its first game under new coach Bernd Hollerbach.

Werder Bremen was held 0-0 at home by Hertha Berlin in the late game after having an early goal chalked off by the video assistant referee (VAR) decision.

Maximilian Eggestein had the ball in the net but the referee reviewed the incident and disallowed the goal for a foul in the buildup.

AFP

Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal heads the ball before scoring against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim during their German Bundesliga match at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany, on January 27, 2018. Bayern won 5-2.

Hoffenheim threatened to hand Bayern its first home league defeat of the season as it made a flying start at the Allianz Arena.

Mark Uth put Hoffenheim ahead from a rebound after Serge Gnabry saw his penalty saved by Sven Ulreich, then Gnabry added the second with a low shot from outside the area.

But it turned out to be a false alarm for the Bavarians who were level before the half-hour mark as Robert Lewandowksi diverted Joshua Kimmich's shot into the net before Jerome Boateng headed in from a corner.

Bayern, which has 50 points from 20 games and a 16-point lead over Schalke, cruised home with second-half goals from Kingsley Coman, Arturo Vidal and Sandro Wagner.

Schalke won 2-0 at VfB Stuttgart with goals in the first 20 minutes from Naldo and Amine Harit, from a penalty.

Dortmund, fifth with 31 points, remained winless since the winter break but it could have been worse.

It started well with Shinji Kagawa hooking home in the 9th minute after the ball ricocheted around the Freiburg area but Petersen turned in Janik Haberer's cross at the near post to level in the 21st.

The game took an unexpected twist in the 68th when Dortmund's Nuri Sahin sent a pass straight to Petersen who saw Roman Buerki off his line and lobbed the ball over the startled Dortmund goalkeeper from 35 meters.

Jeremy Toljan spared Dortmund a fourth home defeat of the season with a stoppage-time equalizer after a poor Freiburg clearance.

A breakaway goal by Filip Kostic gave lowly Hamburg an unexpected point at Leipzig, canceling Bruma's early goal, to give new coach Hollerbach an early boost.

Hollerbach, a trained butcher who was known for his no-nonsense approach during a seven-year playing stint at Hamburg, took over from sacked coach Markus Gisdol in an attempt to save the club's ever-present Bundesliga record.

Hamburg remained one place off the bottom and in the relegation zone, one point below Werder Bremen which is in the relegation playoff spot.

Bottom club Cologne was held 1-1 at home by Augsburg in the other game.

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