Fortuna Düsseldorf were unable to regain top spot in the 2. Bundesliga as they were outplayed and beaten by FC Ingolstadt 04.
A one-sided first half eventually saw Ingolstadt take the lead in the 45th minute through Alfredo Morales, and despite an improved performance from Fortuna in the second they only had a few chances to level the game up.
Following their draw against 1. FC Nürnberg on Saturday, it means Holstein Kiel remain top of the table, by virtue of a superior goal difference.
Kittel involved again as Moarles makes Schanzer pressure tell
After an awful start things are finally going Ingolstadt’s way, with four wins in five. They made only one change from the win over Nürnberg before the international break, with Marcel Gaus back in for Tobias Schröck. There are signs that former leaders Düsseldorf are starting to stutter, with the 2-2 draw with 1. FC Heidenheim in a heated encounter last time out a second in a row. Robin Bormuth, Julian Schauerte, Havard Nielsen and Benito Raman all came in from the team that started that.
In a reflection of recent form, it was the home side who completely dominated the first half. The first chance fell to Stefan Kutschke in the fifth minute, with Gaus and the on-song Sonny Kittel combining on the left before Kutschke slid in, only to see his shot blocked by Niko Gießelmann.
For the entirety of the half it felt like die Schanzer were simply toying with Düsseldorf, keeping them pend inside their own half. Kittel had the next chance, seeing his header put over the bar by Raphael Wolf, whilst both Kutschke and Kittle had a double chance on the half-hour mark, with both blocked.
Despite their dominance it looked like they’d go into the half-time break still level, but in the final minute of normal time they finally took the lead. Kittel, who had been involved with 13 goals this season made it 14, taking a long ball from Almog Cohen and crossing it, via a deflection, to Morales to fire in past Wolf.
Zimmer closest as Düssledorf fail to find equaliser
Things got a little feisty early in the second half as former Fortuna player Tobias Levels was penalised for a foul on Rouwen Hennings, he intimated he’d struck his face, although there appeared to be minimal contact at best, A couple of quick yellow cards followed, but then Düsseldorf had their best chance of the game, with an Adam Bodzek ball finding Jean Zimmer in a good position. His shot was put wide by a hitherto inactive Örjan Nyland.
The visitors were having a better second half, with Marcel Sobottka also having a chance blocked, but Ingolstadt still had plenty of chances going forward as well. Kittel had a shot saved by Wolf, whilst another double opportunity for them fell to Morales and then Thomas Pledl, but like in the first half, both were blocked.
The final ten minutes of the match saw more yellow cards then legitimate chances. Düsseldorf substitute Emir Kujovic saw a deflection take his shot away from goal, and that was as close as either side came in the latter stages.
It meant that Ingolstadt’s impressive run continues, however Düsseldorf have now gone three games in the league without a win, with the only consolation being they are still five points ahead third-placed 1. FC Union Berlin.