As the year 2019 is finally winding down it’s a good time to take a look at some exciting and emotional roller-coaster months. Looking back at April: A gripping cup thriller, a change of management, and the largest Augsburg win in Bundesliga history.
Only three days after the 3-0 loss in Nürnberg the quarter final of the DFB-Pokal saw FCA pitted against RB Leipzig – and what an intense game it turned out to be. Leipzig looked like winning the match 1-0 until Alfred Finnbogason equalised for FCA deep into injury-time. In extra-time however, FCA needlessly conceded a penalty from a handball and lost 2-1.
The double gameweek also resulted in yet another bitter result as Augsburg lost 4-0 at home against TSG Hoffenheim in Manuel Baum’s last game in charge as FCA head coach. Baum was sacked, along with assistant manager Jens Lehmann and technical director Stephan Schwarz. Managing director Stefan Reuter explained the decision, saying: “After a series of fluctuating performances, we were no longer convinced that we would be able to achieve our goals we set for this season with the current managerial system.”
Baum was succeeded by Martin Schmidt as FCA head coach. The Swiss knew that he only had a few days' time to get to know his new squad, but apparently that was all he needed. At Eintracht Frankfurt, the team conceded early, but Marco Richter turned the game upside-down before the break. Near the end of the match, Michael Gregoritsch added the finishing touch against ten-man Frankfurt with a late winner. “It was an incredible week which ended with a positive result,” said a happy Schmidt after his debut, before also thanking his predecessor Baum.
The team took the momentum from the victory in Frankfurt into Schmidt's first home game - and overran VfB Stuttgart. Philipp Max and Marco Richter scored twice while Rani Khedira and André Hahn scored a goal each, which resulted in a 6-0 win - the highest-scoring FCA victory in their Bundesliga history. "I could never have imagined such a home debut in my wildest dreams," admitted Schmidt. The win was a big result in the relegation battle, as well as in the table as Augsburg increased the distance between it and Stuttgart to ten points.
However, the excitement after the amazing victory against Stuttgart was dampened against Bayer Leverkusen. Kevin Danso gave his team the lead early on, but then the Werkself came from behind to win 4-1. The result was Schmidt’s first defeat as FCA head coach.