Augsburg produced a superb second-half fightback to come from behind and beat Hannover 3-1 at home on Matchday 26, deepening the visitors' relegation woes.
Goals: 0-1 Weydandt (8'), 1-1 Cordova (65'), 2-1 Schmid (78'), 3-1 Hahn (86')
Hannover went into the game eight points behind their hosts in 17th place and duly began the game determined to close the gap. Their early pressing and aggressive approach soon paid dividends when Hendrik Weydandt capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Gregor Kobel and Kevin Danso to loop the opener into the unguarded net from 12 yards out. The striker very nearly added a second shortly afterwards, only to see Kobel turn his shot onto the post. The home team gradually clawed their way back into the match, but were unable to force an equaliser before the break against a resolute Hannover rearguard.
The guests began the second half with renewed vigour and almost extended their lead through Genki Haraguchi, but the Japanese midfielder's superb free-kick crashed off the crossbar. As in the first 45 minutes, Augsburg fought their way back into the game and signalled their intent when Marco Richter stung Michael Esser's palms from Jonathan Schmid's cross. Their pressure eventually took its toll midway through the half when Andre Hahn's brilliant volley on the edge of the box direct from a corner struck a post, with Sergio Cordova reacting quickest to prod home the rebound. It went from bad to worse for Hannover in the closing stages when Schmid's clever free-kick caught out Esser at his near post, before Hahn drilled in a third late on to crown a thrilling come-from-behind victory that lifts Augsburg five points clear of the relegation zone.
- Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason played for the first time since Matchday 21 after recovering from injury.
- Hannover took the lead in an away game for the first time since Matchday 14, when they drew 1-1 in Freiburg. That was also the last time they picked up any points on the road.
- Weydandt's goal was his fourth of the season; all four have come away from home. He is now the club's top scorer this term.
- All five of Cordova's Bundesliga goals have come as a substitute - a club record for Augsburg.
- Hannover have the leakiest defence in the Bundesliga this term, shipping 61 goals.
- Schmid's goal was the third direct free-kick Augsburg have scored this season - more than any other Bundesliga team.
Augsburg: Kobel – Schmid, Danso, Khedira, Max – Baier (c) – Hahn, Koo (Gouweleeuw 87'), Richter (Jensen 90+1'), Ji – Finnbogason (Cordova 59')
Unused subs: Leneis, Moravek, Janker, Teigl
Out: Framberger (knee), Giefer (ankle), Gregoritsch (cold), Luthe (knee), Oxford (suspended), Schieber (muscular), Stafylidis (hamstring)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Hannover: Esser – Sorg, Anton, Wimmer, Albornoz – Müller (Walace 66'), Bakalorz (c), Haraguchi, Maina (Muslija 79') – Weydandt (Bech 75'), Jonathas
Unused subs: Sahin-Radlinger, Elez, Korb, Asano
Out: Akpoguma (shoulder), Bebou (thigh), Füllkrug (knee), Hübers (knee), Ostrzolek (ribs), Prib (knee), Sarenren Bazee (shin), Schwegler (groin), Wood (kidney problems)
Coach: Thomas Doll