Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo scored a goal and commanded the midfield to lead his side into the third round of the German Cup with a 6-0 thrashing of Arminia Bielefeld on Wednesday.
The overwhelming result provided further momentum to Stuttgart, who beat Bochum 4-1 in the league on Saturday, snapping a nine-game winless start to the Bundesliga season that prompted the sacking of former manager Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Samurai Blue defensive midfielder Endo doubled Stuttgart's lead in the 24th minute, heading home from Chris Fuhrich's corner kick four minutes after Pascal Stenzel opened the scoring against the visiting second-division outfit at Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Endo was also a dominant force in the middle of the park, repeatedly winning possession and helping the hosts quickly turn defense into attack before heading to the bench in the 70th minute.
Forward Luca Pfeiffer struck a goal in each half, while Japan defender Hiroki Ito played the full 90 minutes for Stuttgart. Japanese midfielder Masaya Okugawa was a second-half substitute for Arminia, currently bottom of the German second division following their relegation from the top flight last season.
In the Scottish League Cup, Japan attackers Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi were on target for Celtic in a 4-0 win away to Motherwell. The Samurai Blue pair netted in the 60th and 76th minutes, respectively, completing the rout following a brace from Liel Abada.
In the Spanish top flight, Takefusa Kubo helped Real Sociedad beat Mallorca 1-0 and register their eighth straight win across all competitions, climbing to third in La Liga behind heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The 21-year-old Japan attacker created several chances against visiting Mallorca, with whom he spent two loan stints, and who are currently managed by former Samurai Blue boss Javier Aguirre.
Mikel Merino's fourth-minute header from a corner kick proved the difference in San Sebastian.