Schulz double gives hope to basement dwellers Hannover
Christian Schulz netted a brace as Hannover came from behind to win their first Bundesliga game since the end of November and give themselves some hope of avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win at Stuttgart.
Hannover, seeking to end a sequence of eight straight defeats, took the game to their in-form hosts and were unfortunate to fall behind in the 18th minute to a Tobias Werner goal as he met Alexandru Maxim’s free-kick.
Hannover replied through their captain Schulz, who headed Hiroshi Kiyotake’s free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar in the 32nd minute.
Schulz embodied all of Hannover’s determination to avoid relegation when he brought a save out of Przemyslaw Tyton with a header and then followed up to earn Hannover their first win under coach Thomas Schaaf.
Werder Bremen came from behind to rescue a last-gasp 2-2 draw at home to Darmstadt, although the point does not relieve the pressure on their coach Viktor Skripnik.
Darmstadt, who boast the third-best away record in the Bundesliga after Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, had several good early chances but Bremen took the lead when Anthony Ujah met Sambou Yatabare’s cross with a shot on the turn.
Darmstadt levelled before half-time through Sandro Wagner’s penalty after he was fouled by Felix Wiedwald.
Ujah and Claudio Pizarro missed chances before Aytac Sulu headed Darmstadt in front with eight minutes remaining, but Pizarro headed Bremen back on terms from a corner in the last minute to the relief of the home fans.
Hamburg and Ingolstadt held their ground in mid-table of the Bundesliga after sharing a 1-1 draw at the Volksparkstadion.
Josip Drmic scored his first goal for Hamburg in the seventh minute, turning in Aaron Hunt’s cross after a slick move down the right wing.
Ingolstadt had two good early chances to equalise in the second half before Lukas Hinterseer did bring them back on terms with a header from Pascal Gross’ cross.
Both sides had opportunities to snatch victory in a lively second half, but a draw was ultimately a fair result which keeps both sides at a safe distance from the relegation zone heading into the midweek round of matches.