Stuttgart notch first away win of the seasonBy: Pete | February 7th, 2011
I’ll be honest with you. After Camargo’s goal made it 2-0 32′ into the first half it was the first time I REALLY felt like we were going to get relegated this year. Down 2-0 to the last place team when you’re tied on points. Not a good place to be. Especially after being the better team for the first 20 or so minutes of the first half.
I’m not exactly sure what, if anything, Labbadia said at halftime to rile up the troops. More than anything else it was his actions that proved the secret ingredient, switching to a 4-3-3 and giving the added pressure needed up front to cause M’gladbach some real problems. It was also our first chance to see what, if anything, Hajnal could do. Hard to make any real observations after just one half but their response with him on (added with the formation change) certainly piques one’s interest for his next appearance. Pogrebnyak’s goal was just an instance of wanting it more than the defender, to beat him to it and get the shot off. The buildup to Harnik’s goal was nice, with Pogrebnyak again with a nice backheel to Boka who set up Harnik for the equalizer.
At this point, as has been most of the year, we’d expect some bit of shoddy defense or bad luck or some other circumstance to muck it all up. And for once (undeservedly) we actually got the break with what should have been Dante’s 2nd goal being disallowed with what was called a foul more on our own guy than on Gladbach. But you won’t see me shedding any tears for M’gladbach for it. We needed this just as much as them, and it’s too bad it came at another struggling team’s expense but at this point it’s about surviving and nothing else.
Pogrebnyak was AGAIN in the mix drawing Dante’s 2nd yellow (in the box) for Gebhart to slot away the PK. I was impressed with the big Russian, he was making his presence felt.
And so we’re still in the relegation zone but that was a HUGE 3 points and hopefully something the boys can build on. The mental errors and shoddy defense (set pieces anyone?) cannot be tolerated and normally down 2-0 you won’t be able to ever snatch all 3 points from most teams, especially on the road. But I’m choosing to focus on the positive here today. We’re going to channel all that positive energy. Deep breaths all together now.
Video highlights below.