Five-goal Stuttgart boost Bundesliga survival chances
Stuttgart made an emphatic statement in their battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga on Sunday when they thrashed fellow strugglers Hanover 5-1.
Mario Gomez opened the scoring in the fourth minute, guiding a shot past Hanover goalkeeper Michael Esser into the bottom corner.
Ozan Kabak scored Stuttgart’s second in the 16th minute, heading in from a corner and added another in first-half injury time, again with his head, this time to convert a cross from Gonzalo Castro.
Hanover coach Thomas Doll made two attacking changes at half-time, bringing on Marvin Bakalorz and Jonathas.
It looked an inspired change in the 69th minute when Jonathas cut the deficit to 3-1.
However, Stuttgart reasserted their authority with Steven Zuber adding two more goals in the 78th and 81st minutes.
The result sees Stuttgart remain third from bottom but they now have a five-point cushion on Hanover who remain in the automatic relegation places alongside rock-bottom Nuremberg.