WATCH: IHLAS BEBOU ON HOFFENHEIM'S WIN
WATCH: HOFFENHEIM 5-0 COLOGNE - IN 60 SECONDS!
TAMING THE BILLY GOATS
Hoffenheim's biggest-ever Bundesliga win was a 6-0 demolition of - you've guessed it - Cologne, in March 2018. They won't equal that record tonight as the final whistle goes, but this has been some demonstration from the men in blue!
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 90 minutes
YES THEY CAN!
Posch heads in a fifth! What a second-half showing this has been for the Sinsheimers.
BRUUN LARSEN ALSO ON
Along with his fellow Dane Robert Skov. Bruun Larsen was actually Hoffenheim's top scorer in the Bundesliga this season at kick-off - he's now been joined on three goals by Baumgartner - but Hoeneß still felt he could leave him on the bench. And as I type that, he's just put an effort into the side netting. Can TSG add the final flourish and make it a five-star performance?
KRAMARIC OFF THE BAR!
Hoffenheim are looking to improve their goal difference now, but Kramaric's sweetly struck free-kick bounces out off the top of the crossbar. That's the fifth time they've hit the woodwork this season.
Jacob Bruun Larsen
CHANGES ALL ROUND
More changes all round, with Ehizibue finally going off after appearing to injure himself earlier. Raum and Geiger make way for TSG, to warm applause from the PreZero Arena.
Great work here from substitute Rutter, just after coming on. He wins possession for Hoffenheim high up the pitch, and it's picked up by Geiger. The 23-year-old tries to play in Samassekou, but the balls comes back out to him and he slips it past Horn for 4-0. That's his first Bundesliga goal in almost a year - he was last on target against Werder Bremen on 25 October 2020.
AND GEIGER MAKES IT FOUR!
This is turning into a very forgettable night for Cologne.
RUDY AND RUTTER ON
Fresh legs for the hosts. Goal heroes Bebou and Baumgartner are off, replaced by Georginio Rutter and TSG's all-time record appearance maker, Sebastian Rudy.
It goes from bad to worse for Cologne. Ezihibue has hurt himself after taking a tumble in the Hoffenheim area, and getting his knee caught in the turf. He's currently receiving treatment off the pitch... and it looks like he's OK to continue.
GOAL #3 FOR BAUMGARTNER
Ihlas Bebou opened his account for 2021/22 tonight, but it was goal number three of the campaign for Christoph Baumgartner. The Austrian has now netted in successive matches - he was on target in the 3-1 win over Wolfsburg on Matchday 6, before missing the Matchday 7 defeat to Stuttgart due to a muscle injury.
CLINICAL FROM TSG
HOFFENHEIM STEPPING OFF THE GAS
A couple of loose passes at the back from the hosts, who probably feel they've got the job done after that quickfire double. But stranger things have happened in the Bundesliga! Modeste tries to head into the path of Uth, but it's a shade too long and Baumann gathers.
BAUMGART RINGS THE CHANGES
A triple roll of the dice from Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart, whose side will need to get a goal back quickly if they want to rescue anything from this game. We could see Kainz on the sidelines just after he came off, mouthing, "We're not getting stuck in at all!".
WONDERFUL PASSING FROM HOFFENHEIM
Make sure you get a look at those two goals when our highlights are out a bit later tonight, the passing combinations from Hoffenheim were sensational. The Cologne defence didn't know what hit them.
TWO GOALS IN TWO MINUTES FOR TSG
Well. That escalated quickly.
HOFFENHEIM DOUBLE - NO, TRIPLE! - THEIR LEAD
Talk about keeping your cool. Baumgartner beats his man on the left but can't immediately see a pass, so he works it around the penalty area and Akpoguma ends up crossing from the right for Bebou to flick in his second of the game. And then Baumgartner adds a third after more brilliant interplay, with Raum getting the assist. Wow! What a start to the second half for TSG.
BEBOU STRIKES AGAIN!
What a brilliant team goal!
HOFFENHEIM OUTSPRINTING COLOGNE
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
Here we go again!
HOFFENHEIM LEAD AT THE BREAK
It was an energic and occasionally erratic first half, but one moment of magic has swung the game in the hosts' favour. Kramaric goes joint-top of the Bundesliga assists chart after getting his fifth of the campaign for Bebou, who scored his first top-flight goal since the start of May.
THREE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME
Great time to get a goal.
COLOGNE FAILING TO TEST BAUMANN
Kainz sends in a dangerous ball from the Cologne left, but Modeste and Uth get in each other's way and the Frenchman's header spins harmlessly away towards the corner flag.
KADERABEK OFF INJURED
Hoffenheim are forced into an early change as Pavel Kaderabek limps off. Chris Richards is coming on, despite playing in the USMNT's 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Wednesday - over 4,000 miles away in Columbus, Ohio.
BEBOU OPENS THE SCORING!
And it's as simple as you like! A gorgeous pass from Kramaric in behind the two Cologne centre-backs, Bebou races around Timo Horn and slides into the empty net for 1-0. His 25th career goal in the Bundesliga.
Speed check: The fastest player in the game after 30 minutes
UTH FROM DISTANCE, ANDERSSON HEADS OVER
Uth has a go, but like Ehizibue's effort earlier, it's nowhere near the target. A minute or so later, Andersson heads over the bar. Cologne are trying to assert themselves a little more, but it's finely balanced.
HOSTS APPLYING PRESSURE
Now it's Hoffenheim's turn to up the tempo. Raum sends in a fine cross from the left and Baumgartner tries to backheel into the path of Kaderabek, but Mere manages to scramble the ball clear.
BAUMANN SWITCHED ON!
Cologne should do better after breaking through the Hoffenheim lines, but Andersson's cross from the left flank is easily cut out by Baumann.
These two teams have had the most crosses in the Bundesliga this season, although for the time being they aren't using the width of the pitch that much. There's a big old battle in midfield, with a 50-50 share of possession.
Mere has just absolutely leathered the ball into Baumgartner's face, and the Austrian needs a few moments to recover. High-octane, end-to-end stuff at the moment, but the only real goalscoring opportunity has fallen to Kramaric.
EHIZIBUE FROM DISTANCE
A first attempt for the visitors but Kingsley Ehizibue's effort is wide of the mark. It's been a very entertaining start in Sinsheim.
HORN TO THE RESCUE
Just looking at that Andrej Kramaric chance again - it was gorgeous control from the Croatian on his chest, before unleashing the volley, but Timo Horn put his body on the line and saved from close range. Czichos definitely owes him one!
GREAT CHANCE FOR KRAMARIC!
What is Czichos doing?! Cologne's stand-in captain hooks a ball back into his own area, straight to Kramaric - who meets it on the volley but draws a fantastic save from Horn. That was a great chance for the hosts!
PLENTY OF AWAY SUPPORT
There are 3,000 Cologne fans in attendance at the PreZero Arena tonight, despite the near 300-kilometre distance between the two towns.
6TH VS 11TH
Cologne are enjoying their best start to a season in five years, and currently sit sixth in the Bundesliga on 12 points. Hoffenheim can close the gap on tonight's opponents with a win: they're 11th on eight points.
THE HOSTS ON THE ATTACK
Already a half-chance for Hoffenheim on the edge of the Cologne penalty area, but Geiger is penalised for handball before he can get a shot away.
We're underway in Hoffenheim.
Both sides make three changes from their Matchday 7 outings. After their 3-1 loss to Stuttgart, Hoffenheim bring in Akpoguma, Posch and Baumgartner for Richards, Vogt and Adamyan. And after their 3-1 win over Greuther Fürth, Cologne start Ehizibue, Özcan and Thielmann in place of Hector, Skhiri and Duda. Visiting captain Hector is out tonight with illness - he was replaced in the squad by Katterbach, while Czichos takes the armband.
Schwäbe, Katterbach, Hübers, Kilian, Schindler, Duda, Schaub, Lemperle, Ostrak
COLOGNE STARTING XI
T. Horn - Schmitz, Mere, Czichos (c), Ehizibue - Özcan - Thielmann, Uth, Kainz - Modeste, Andersson
Philipp, Bruun Larsen, Dabbur, Stiller, Rudy, Vogt, Richards, Skov, Rutter
HOFFENHEIM STARTING XI
Baumann (c) - Kaderabek, Akpoguma, Posch, Raum - Samassekou, Grillitsch - Geiger, Baumgartner - Bebou, Kramaric
The wait is finally over! After a fortnight of international action - which saw Germany become the first team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup - the Bundesliga returns as Hoffenheim entertain in-form Cologne. The teams are in, let's see who will be lining up in the Matchday 8 curtain-raiser...
Here you can find all the information about Hoffenheim against Köln on Matchday 8.