MONCHENGLADBACH, August 18 (Bundesliga) - Stuttgart coach Armin Veh admitted his side owed a debt of gratitude to debutant goalkeeper Jens Lehmann after they opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 3-1 win at newly-promoted Borussia Monchengladbach.
The former Germany international, who moved to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the summer, kept an attack-minded home side at bay early in the first-half.
Instead goals from Thomas Hitzlsperger, Ciprian Marica and Mario Gomez put Stuttgart in control before the break, Rob Friend replying for Monchengladbach on the hour mark.
Veh told Stuttgart's official website: 'We saw a really good football match, because Gladbach were also set up to attack.
'What was important was that we had a very good goalkeeper in goal, otherwise there could also have been a goal for Borussia in the first half.
'After you go 3-0 up the game is normally over, but when the other team scores a goal it can become close again.
'It was tough, because we missed a cutting edge on the counter attack.'
Monchengladbach boss Jos Luhukay also felt the game could have panned out differently had it not been for Lehmann, but admitted individual mistakes cost his side.
He said: 'We had good chances in the first half to go in front. But through individual mistakes we needlessly lost the ball and Stuttgart punished that.
'It was positive that we did not give up and in the second half held out own really well.'