1-0, Terodde 13'. 2-0, Green 20'.
VfB Stuttgart 2-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf: First-half show sees Swabians go clear at the top
Image credit: Bundesliga.de

VfB Stuttgart 2-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf: First-half show sees Swabians go clear at the top

Wolf's men are now top of the tree.

Jonathan Walsh
VfB Stuttgart(4-1-4-1) Langerak; Großkreutz, Baumgartl, Kaminski, Insua; Grgic (Pavard 75'); Mané (Ginczek 72'), Gentner, Green (Brekalo 61'), Asano; Terodde.
Fortuna Düsseldorf(4-1-4-1) Rensing; Schauerte, Akpoguma, Madlung, Schmitz; Bodzek; Bebou, Fink, Ayhan (Gartner 62'), Ritter (Kiesewetter 46'); Hennings (Iyoha 78').
REFEREEFelix Zwayer (Berlin). Booked: Bebou (22'), Bodzek (34'), Madlung (62').

Fortuna Düsseldorf failed to find the back for a fifth consecutive game as VfB Stuttgart secured a 2-0 win thanks to Simon Terodde and Julian Green.

Team news

Following the narrow hard-fought win over FC St. Pauli to bring them into a three-way tie at the top of the table, Hannes Wolf opted for to changes to that starting eleven. Jean Zimmer and Matthias Zimmermann both dropped out as Anto Grgic and Carlos Mané came into the line-up.

Following another disappointing defeat, this time a 3-0 reverse against SV Sandhausen, Friedhelm Funkel aimed to go more attacking and make a subsequent switch in defence. The veteran head coach replaced Axel Bellinghausen and Robin Bormuth for Kevin Akpoguma and Ihlas Bebou.

Super start for Stuttgart

The game began with both sides trying to force an early breakthrough, though fouls would cut promising runs from Bebou and Mané down before they got into a really dangerous area. The first chance came from a clever Christian Gentner pass saw Takuma Asano waltz through, only to be denied by the legs of Michael Rensing.

However, Bebou and Marlon Ritter's rare excursions would prove to be the highlight of a rather miserable first-half for Fortuna. The hosts' pressure told after just 13 minutes, as Emiliano Insua wasn't closed down quickly enough and he sent a wonderful cross towards Terodde. Poorly marked, the in-form forward sent a towering header home.

Things got even worse seven minutes later as Green made it two-nil. Just like the first goal, it was a superb pass that found the space at the back post. Grgic supplied a diagonal ball that caught everyone but Green off-guard, as the American forward stroked home a first-time volley into the far bottom corner leaving Rensing helpless.

The remainder of the half saw Fortuna try in vain to make headway going forward, yet it was limited time and time again by Stuttgart's stoic defence. Asano and Green both had further chances to add to the scoreline but the visitors managed to hold out until half-time to give themselves a glimmer of hope at making the comeback.

Fortuna improve but can't find the net

The second period began with a change as Jerome Kiesewetter replaced Ritter at the break, though there was no alteration in the flow of the match. Stuttgart continued to come forward and Asano, Terrode and Gentner continued to swarm on Rensing's goal. This time, however, the finishing wasn't up to first-half standard.

More chances, including a golden opportunity for Terodde to grab his second, came and went before Fortuna finally offered up something in attack. Kiesewetter got into excellent positions on several occasions but the American failed to find the crucial cross to set Rouwen Hennings in on goal.

Hennings was eventually replaced by Emmanuel Iyoha in the closing minutes and the youngster already looked more than keen to make the hard running. However, his finish was lacking as a clever turn round the corner saw him smash wide of Mitchell Langerak's far post.

Stuttgart, aside from their half chances, had two major opportunities to add to their lead late on but a bouncing ball wouldn't settle for Terodde as he scythed over the bar. Daniel Ginczek's headed effort was off the mark, too. Although the forward's attempt was a much more difficult skill than that of Terrode's.

The win lifted the Swabians three points clear of Lower Saxony duo, Eintracht Braunschweig and Hannover 96 to the top of the table. As for Fortuna, they slipped into the bottom half and sit on 25 points in 10th.