Goals from Jens Stage and Marvin Ducksch carried Werder Bremen to a 2-0 away win on Sunday that left Stuttgart in the Bundesliga’s relegation play-off spot.
Bremen’s Niclas Fuellkrug, the league’s leading scorer this season with 13 goals, had a first-half effort ruled out for a limp push in the back of Stuttgart defender Hiroki Ito.
The Germany striker broke through on the counter in the 59th minute, losing possession when about to strike, but the ball bounced into the path of Danish midfielder Stage, who rocketed a stunning strike into the top of the net.
The goal rattled Stuttgart and with Bremen turning up the pressure, Fuellkrug’s former second-division strike partner Ducksch added a second.
The win, Bremen’s second in a row, sent the promoted side up to eighth, just two spots from the European placings.
In Sunday’s late game, Bayern Munich can reclaim its lead at the top when it travels to seventh-placed Wolfsburg.