Stuttgart 1-2 Bayern Munich: Nagelsmann's side reclaim top spot from Dortmund
Bayern Munich beat relegation-threatened Stuttgart 2-1 on Saturday to reclaim Bundesliga top spot from Borussia Dortmund on goal difference.
In-form Dortmund defeated RB Leipzig 2-1 on Friday to reach the summit, but Bayern responded well at Mercedes-Benz Arena as they made it four wins in five league outings.
Matthijs de Ligt's 25-yard drive shortly after clearing an effort off the line gave Bayern the lead six minutes before half-time, with the game having been evenly matched until that point.
The visitors added a second through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 62nd minute and saw out the victory, despite Juan Jose Perea pulling back a late goal for Stuttgart. It comes as a timely boost to confidence ahead of facing Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Fabian Bredlow produced a sublime save to keep out Leon Goretzka's early header, but Bayern did not look entirely comfortable against Stuttgart's high press and gave away chances.
Goalkeeper Yann Sommer was equal to Silas Katompa Mvumpa's near-post effort and De Ligt was then well positioned to hook Konstantinos Mavropanos' header off the line.
De Ligt was involved at the other end two minutes later as his low shot caught out Bredlow, who reacted late and could not keep the ball out despite getting a hand to it.
Kingsley Coman fired straight at Bredlow early in the second half, but Choupo-Moting slotted home a second for Bayern after being played in by Thomas Muller.
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann introduced substitutes Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry for the visitors, but it was Stuttgart who scored the next goal through Perea's angled header in the 88th minute, before fellow substitute Tanguy Coulibaly headed inches wide in a major let-off for Bayern.
What does it mean? Bayern back where they belong
Bayern's slow start to 2023 opened the door for the chasing pack to close the gap, with Dortmund in particular taking advantage by reeling off eight wins in a row.
The 10-in-a-row champions are rising to the challenge, though, with a 3-2 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach the only blemish over the past month.
Bayern have now won their past 13 away games against Stuttgart – only against Werder Bremen (an ongoing 13-game streak) have they enjoyed as long a run against any side.
Magic Muller's latest milestone
Long-serving Bayern attacker Muller played in Choupo-Moting for Bayern's second goal, with that his 300th direct goal involvement in the Bundesliga.
Muller, who has scored 141 goals and assisted 159, is the second player after former team-mate Robert Lewandowski (367) to reach that milestone in the German top flight since Opta started recording such data in the 2004-05 season.
Labbadia racking up the losses
Stuttgart head coach Bruno Labbadia has lost each of his past 17 meetings with Bayern since a 1-0 win while in charge of Hamburg in 2009.
That is the most defeats of any coach against a single opponent in German professional football, with his teams losing by a 54-17 aggregate scoreline across that period.
Bayern will look to protect a 1-0 lead when they host PSG in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday. Stuttgart travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in a week's time in their next Bundesliga game.