Bayer Leverkusen And VfB Stuttgart Score Late Wins Over Mainz 05 And St. Pauli

Sunday's two crucial games in the Bundesliga produced very different results: Bayer Leverkusen recorded yet another away victory to establish a five-point buffer over third place, while VfB Stuttgart are above the relegation zone for the first time since Matchday 12 after coming from behind to defeat St. Pauli.

Bayer Leverkusen have relied on their excellent away form to cement their position as Champions League group stage qualifiers for next season, and rebounded from defeat against Villareal last Thursday with a win over Mainz 05 thanks to a Renato Augusto goal eight minutes from time.  Leverkusen had more chances and better ones, particularly in the second half when Mainz mustered just a single shot, and will be ruing the injury problems that plagued them earlier in the season -- if they hadn't missed so many key players in the first half, they could be battling Borussia Dortmund for the title.

Stuttgart have had a pretty awful season, mitigated only by a good run in Europe that came to an end two weeks ago against Benfica.  Their only focus for the remainder of this campaign is staying up, a task made all the more important because the Baden-Württemberg side are in the midst of renovating the Mercedes-Benz Arena and do not want to re-open it in the 2. Bundesliga.  Until a few weeks ago, Stuttgart hadn't won a single away game in the Bundesliga; on Sunday, Sven Schipplock's 88th-minute winner meant they have won three of their last four on the road, and are now above the relegation play-off place on goal difference.  Defeat for their hosts St. Pauli means that the Hamburg side slip into that relegation play-off place for just the second time this season.

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