In what was a topsy-turvy game from start to finish, Simon Terodde's brace proved crucial in securing a late 3-2 win for VfB Stuttgart over Arminia Bielefeld. Christoph Hemlein had given Bielefeld the lead before Alexandru Maxim levelled in stunning fashion. Terodde then scored either side of Reinhold Yabo's equaliser to put his side at the top.
Jeff Saibene and the men from the Bielefelder Alm were hoping to continue their good form, following on from their 3-1 win over SV Sandhausen last weekend and an impressive start under his tutelage. He made just two changes to that side, as Kevin Staude and Manuel Prietl dropped out for Stephan Salger and Leandro Putaro.
As for Hannes Wolf and his Stuttgart charges, they remained unchanged from their massive 2-0 derby win over Karlsruher SC.
Hemlein heads Bielefeld in front
Maxim was the main man from the start during Stuttgart strong beginning to the game. although his mazy run wasn't matched by the finish as it drifted just wide. It wasn't long later when he went past another three Bielefeld defenders before chipping to the back post for Takuma Asano. His finish left a lot to be desired, however.
Yet, despite the Swabians' dominance, it was Bielefeld who took the lead. Some clever play down the left saw Putaro slip Florian Hartherz in on the left-hand side, as he broke towards the by-line. His cross was inch-perfect for Hemlein to rise on the six-yard box and power a header high past the outstretched hand of Mitchell Langerak.
Stuttgart didn't drop back from there and almost equalised immediately after going behind, though Maxim's free-kick was expertly tipped over by Daniel Davari. Several last-ditch tackles and desperate headers were far from pretty during Stuttgart's pressure, but it meant Bielefeld had a half-time lead.Maxim
Super second half sees Terodde win it
There was just one change at the break, as Wolf acted to try and speed up a slowing midfield. Anto Grgic was called off the bench to replace the quiet Berkay Özcan.
That change didn't spark the turnaround, but it did handily coincide with two quickfire goals from the visitors to take them ahead. Davari initially did well to cut out a through ball to Terodde, but then passed straight to Maxim. 40 yards from goal, he took advantage of the fatal mistake and calmly chipped the ball over everyone to restore parity.
The second came just three minutes later as Bielefeld were finally punished for giving up so many chances. While it was a kind bounce to start the play, Terodde didn't need a second invitation to wriggle his way around three of the hosts' defenders. One-on-one with Davari, he lifted the ball over the oncoming 'keeper and into the empty net.
To Saibene's credit, his side didn't drop their heads. Instead, they went on the attack. Timo Baumgartl brought down Yabo outside the area, and only the tips of Langerak's fingers stopped Hemlein from beating the Australian for a again. Benjamin Pavard was then lucky not to be sent off for two suspect tackles in quick succession.
Fabian Klos fired a volley off target when it seemed harder to miss the target, yet Bielefeld brought themselves level. Despite saving from Hemlein's header moments before, the winger's ferocious drive wasn't held by Langerak and Yabo was quickest on the scene to pounce and bring the hosts onto terms with a tap-in.
The final 20 minutes were as end to end as could have been hoped for, as both teams threw everything at getting three points. Klos had several chances on the break but could take neither, while the same could be said of two crucial Terodde misses at the other end.
Yet, it would be third time lucky for the Swabian striker as he struck at 89th minute winner. Some superb footwork from Daniel Ginczek in the middle saw him thread it through to his strike partner, and he again lifted over Davari to make it 3-2 and secure the three points needed to send Stuttgart back to the top. Bielefeld, however, are in 17th.