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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Matchday 16: Labbadia misses victory with VfB on Bundesliga return

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Bruno Labbadia is back in the Bundesliga. The coach scored a point against FSV Mainz 05 for his debut at VfB Stuttgart.

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Bruno Labbadia’s return to the Bundesliga was only partially successful. With VfB Stuttgart, the 56-year-old had to settle for a 1-1 (1-1) draw against FSV Mainz 05 in the first competitive game of his second tenure as coach with the Swabians.

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Two years after his last Bundesliga game as coach of Hertha BSC, Labbadia missed the hoped-for sign of respect in the relegation battle with the Stuttgart team after the long winter break and remains on the relegation rank.

Serhou Guirassy put the Swabians in the lead (36th minute). Marcus Ingvartsen equalized with a penalty kick (40′) for Mainz coach Bo Svensson, who kept the five-point lead over VfB.

Labbadia admitted before his debut that the relegation battle was “not fun”. In a dark coat, the successor to Pellegrino Matarazzo and interim coach Michael Wimmer entered the arena with 45,903 spectators in minus temperatures, followed by the new sports director Fabian Wohlgemuth. In December, VfB made a radical cut to avoid the impending debacle of renewed relegation. “The World Cup gave us enough time to give the team input. That was sorely needed,” said Labbadia before kick-off on Sky.

The coach, who successfully rescued VfB in his first years at VfB in 2011, stood on the sidelines as a director. And clapped encouragingly when Silas shot on goal for the first time (4th), even if it was not dangerous. Labbadia saw a game with almost no highlights for more than half an hour. The relegation candidate had problems building up the game, lacking clarity and creativity in attack. Striker Guirassy was hardly involved for a long time.

Towards the end of the first half things got more turbulent, and the hosts took the lead surprisingly: Labbadia tore his hair out when Guirassy missed VfB’s best chance up to that point. Then the returnee jumped up jubilantly: Naouirou Ahamada and Wataru Endo got the ball back to Guirassy, ​​who skillfully took aim and overcame Mainz goalkeeper Finn Dahmen. Dahmen replaced Robin Zentner, who was injured in the back.

Stuttgart’s joy at the 1-0 did not last long: Ahamada met Leandro Barreiro in the penalty area. Referee Felix Brych gave the penalty after video evidence, which Ingvartsen converted safely into the lower left corner. Mainz had previously had the better shots by Barreiro (14th) and Barkok (25th).

After the break, the hosts, who were without Croatia international Borna Sosa with an adductor problem, showed more commitment in attack. Tiago Tomas missed a possible re-lead shortly after the break (48′). Guirassy could have made more of his chance, too, but didn’t hit the ball with his left foot (53′). Mainz played cautiously. Aymen Barkok was unlucky when he shot the crossbar (55th) – just like Guirassy for Stuttgart a little later (60th). Substitute Josha Vagnoman could have secured the win.

Source: Stern

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