Inspired Szoboszlai leads Leipzig to win over Stuttgart
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LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Two sweetly hits shots from Dominik Szoboszlai lifted Leipzig to a 2-1 win over Stuttgart to close within a point of Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich on Friday.
Szoboszlai had not scored in the league since September before the Hungarian midfielder gave his team the lead with a swerving, dipping free kick in the 25th minute that goalkeeper Florian Müller could only push into his own net.
Szoboszlai showed off his technical skills with the second goal in the 49th, using one touch to control a header from teammate André Silva on the edge of the penalty area before letting the ball drop and striking a half-volley that left Müller no chance.
Embroiled in a fight to avoid relegation, Stuttgart had plenty of chances to exploit defensive errors from Leipzig but couldn’t convert enough of them.
Shortly before Szoboszlai’s second goal, Stuttgart’s Niklas Nartey could have leveled the score when he was one-on-one with Leipzig goalkeeper Janis Blaswich, but his shot bobbled wide of the far post instead. Stuttgart finally scored when Chris Führich powered a penalty past Blaswich in the 68th after a handball by defender Joško Gvardiol. That ensured a tense finish for Leipzig but the hosts largely kept Stuttgart at bay in the closing stages.
Bayern has drawn both of its opening games of 2023, including one against Leipzig last week, as it adapts to life without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who has a broken leg. Bayern can restore a four-point lead if it beats fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports