Stuttgart denied again as Leipzig wins 3-1 in Bundesliga
Pizarro, aged 40 years and 136 days, broke the previous record held by Bremen midfielder Miroslav “Mirko” Votava (40 years, 121 days) from 1996, when he fired his free kick through a host of Hertha legs and past the helpless Rune Jarstein in goal.
It looked like Davie Selke’s first-half goal against his former side was enough for Hertha to win, but Pizarro came on as a substitute with half an hour remaining and had the final say.
The veteran Peru striker also became the first to score in 21 different calendar years in the Bundesliga with his 195th league goal.
The goal denied Hertha sixth place and kept 10th-placed Bremen one point behind the home side.
Stuttgart’s hopes of a reprieve after another week of turbulence went unanswered as Leipzig won their game 3-1 to consolidate fourth place.
Danish forward Yussuf Poulsen scored twice to help Leipzig move one point below Borussia Moenchengladbach and stay six clear of Wolfsburg, which defeated Mainz 2-0 at home.
Stuttgart sought its first win in seven games to ease the pressure on coach Markus Weinzierl. Weinzierl kept his job after last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Fortuna Duesseldorf, but sporting director Michael Reschke was told to go on Tuesday.
Stuttgart had the worst defense in the league (47 goals conceded), in contrast to Leipzig (18), which duly scored with the game’s first attack in the sixth minute when Yussuf Poulsen took advantage of some lax defending to score from close range.
But Steven Zuber equalized from the penalty spot 10 minutes later after the video referee intervened when Leipzig captain Willi Orban appeared to push Mario Gomez and deflect the ball out of play with his hand.
The home side pushed for more — Leipzig ‘keeper Peter Gulacsi made a great save to deny Santiago Ascacibar in the second half — before Marcel Sabitzer restored the visitors’ lead from a free kick in the 68th.
Both sides finished with 10 men after Freiburg’s Christian Guenter was shown his second yellow card in injury time for colliding with Mark Uth.
Hoffenheim defeated Hannover 3-0, though the home side should have won by more.