Stuttgart routs Hannover 5-1 in Bundesliga relegation fight

Published 11:58 a.m. ET March 3, 2019 | Updated 12:39 p.m. ET March 3, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Two Bundesliga teams offered contrasting examples on Sunday in the value of switching — or keeping — coaches in a midseason relegation fight.

Stuttgart, which stuck with Markus Weinzierl despite picking up two points in eight games, routed Hannover 5-1.

“We were longing for a break. You can tell that a weight has fallen off us,” Stuttgart sporting director Thomas Hitzlsperger said.

Hannover had hoped for a change of fortune under new coach Thomas Doll, but has now slumped to four defeats in five games since he returned to the Bundesliga after stints abroad.

Hannover opted for the coaching change, firing Doll’s predecessor Andre Breitenreiter on Jan. 27 after eight league games without a win.

It wasn’t given a chance in Stuttgart. Former Germany striker Mario Gomez struck the post inside the first minute but duly opened the scoring three minutes later with a crisp shot from outside the area.

Ozan Kabak headed in a corner from Gonzalo Castro 12 minutes later, and scored again before the break after another Castro corner.

It could have been worse for second-from-bottom Hannover with Michael Esser making a number of good saves to deny the home side.

Brazilian striker Jonathas pulled one back for Hannover in the 68th with his first Bundesliga goal since his return in January, but Steven Zuber killed off hopes of a comeback with two late goals.

“Such a display does not belong in the Bundesliga,” said Hannover’s Marvin Bakalorz, whose side is seven points from safety with 10 games remaining.

Traveling Hannover fans displayed banners criticizing club president Martin Kind.

Stuttgart remained in the relegation playoff place, two points behind Augsburg.

Wolfsburg host Werder Bremen later Sunday.


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