Stuttgart storm back to claim point


Stuttgart came from three goals down to snatch a 3-3 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen and continue their recent revival. Two goals from Son Heung-min and a Karim Bellarabi strike seemed to have done enough damage with the Stuttgart fans seeing an all-too familiar sight at half-time with their team seemingly beaten. However, Armin Veh's men refused to throw in the towel and goals from Timo Werner, Florian Klein and Martin Harnik saw them come back to claim a point at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, and win back some of the dissenting fans. The Swabians have been beaten by Cologne and Hoffenheim at home already this season and the sight of Son scoring twice inside the first nine minutes did little to impress the suffering fans. The South Korean picked up the ball inside the penalty area in the fourth minute before beating Thorsten Kirschbaum with a low shot. A mistake by the Stuttgart goalkeeper gifted Son his second when his short clearance was chested down by the South Korean and volleyed back over Kirschbaum into the unguarded goal. Son nearly completed what would have been one of the fastest hat-tricks on record a minute later when he was faced with only Kirschbaum to beat, but his lob hit the angle of post and crossbar and went wide. Stuttgart were all at sea and Stefan Kiessling rattled the post again with a shot from a tight angle. Newly-capped Germany international Bellarabi then wasted their next big chance before adding his name to the scoresheet four minutes before the interval, dancing his way through a static Stuttgart defence before scoring. Inevitably, the home team went into the dressing room with the whistles from the fans ringing in their ears, and not for the first time this season. Few could have predicted what happened in the second half, though. Klein's cross was headed in by Werner to reduce the arrears just shy of the hour mark, slightly against the run of play. Leverkusen's failure to add to their three goals came back to haunt them, though, when Bernd Leno only parried the ball out and Klein drilled his shot inside the near post midway through the second half. After looking in total control of proceedings, Leverkusen were suddenly up against the ropes and, within 10 minutes, they were pegged back when Harnik headed in Filip Kostic's cross from point-blank range. There were chances at both ends in a dramatic conclusion to the game which saw one Leverkusen goal disallowed for a foul and Harnik denied by a fine Leno save as the points were shared.