Ishak Belfodil scored a hat-trick as Hoffenheim moved to within a point of the European places with a comfortable 4-0 win at relegation-threatened Augsburg.
Goals: 0-1 Kramaric (6’), 0-2 Belfodil (61’), 0-3 Belfodil (74'), 0-4 Belfodil (81')
Hoffenheim played with the shackles off from the get-go, and were rewarded as early as the sixth minute. Belfodil collected the returning Nico Schulz’s fine through-ball and drew the save from Gregor Kobel, with Kramaric reacting fastest to tuck away the follow-up. Julian Nagelsmann’s men continued to play cat and mouse with Augsburg as Kobel denied Belfodil and recovered brilliantly to push Kramaric’s close-range rebound onto the crossbar. Marco Richter shot over and Ja-Cheol Koo had an effort blocked in a rare moment of first-half respite for the hosts.
Kobel thwarted Belfodil once again soon after the restart, though the Algerian would likely have done far better but for a cumbersome first touch. Augsburg threw men forward in search of an equaliser as Michael Gregortisch sent a free header off target, but the threat to their own goal remained. Belfodil effectively ended Augsburg's comeback hopes when he stole in to head home a Demirbay cross past the hour, before completing his hat-trick with a pair of incisive counter-attacking goals to leave Augsburg - who had an Alfred Finnbogason effort ruled out for offside - hovering just four points above the relegation play-off spot with six games to go.
Watch: Belfodil happy after netting maiden career hat-trick
- Hoffenheim are unbeaten in four, picking up 10 from a possible 12 points.
- Belfodil has scored nine goals in his past eight Bundesliga games, having previously netted four all season.
- Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski has scored more Bundesliga goals in 2019 (11) than Belfodil and Kramaric (both nine).
- Kramaric has opened the scoring a league-high seven times this season.
- Hoffenheim are unbeaten in eight games against Augsburg (six wins, two draws), while they have won on their past four trips to Bavaria.
- Augsburg have conceded seven goals in their last two Bundesliga games.
Augsburg: Kobel – Gouweleeuw, Oxford (Finnbogason 27'), Danso – Schmid, Baier (c) (Cordova 74'), Koo, Max – Gregoritsch, Ji – Richter (Hahn 60')
Unused subs: Luthe, Stafylidis, Janker, Teigl
Out: Framberger (knee), Giefer (ankle), Götze (unspecified), Khedira (groin), Schieber (muscular)
Coach: Manuel Baum
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Kaderabek, Vogt (c), Hübner – Amiri (Bicakcic 62'), Grillitsch, Demirbay, Schulz (Brenet 66') – Kramaric (Bittencourt 80') – Belfodil, Szalai
Unused subs: Stolz, Otto, Posch, Baumgartner
Out: Geiger (groin), Joelinton (ankle), Nelson (thigh)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Watch: Kramaric: "I want to score more"