Andrek Kramaric scored twice as Hoffenheim finally ended their lengthy winless streak, earning a 4-2 victory in a gripping match away to Baden-Württemberg rivals Freiburg on Saturday.
Goals: 0-1 Joelinton (19'), 1-1 Höler (42'), 1-2 Kramaric (pen. 60'), 1-3 Kramaric (72'), 2-3 Niederlechner (77'), 2-4 Demirbay (85')
There was nothing to separate the sides early on in a fiercely contested derby in south-west Germany, with both teams packing the midfield and thundering into tackles at every turn. The course of the game changed in the 19th minute, however, when Joelinton took advantage of a defensive mix-up to dart into the box and slot past Alexander Schwolow to put Hoffenheim in front. Freiburg equalised just before the interval, though, Lucas Höler prodding the rebound into an empty net after Manuel Gulde's header from a corner came back off the post.
If the first half was an entertaining affair it was nothing compared to a goal-filled second period. Kramaric restored Hoffenheim's lead with a coolly taken penalty and looked to have secured the points with another smart finish shortly afterwards, only for Freiburg substitute Florian Niederlechner to reduce the deficit. Bayed on by a noisy home crowd, the hosts pushed for an equaliser and would have levelled the score had it not been for a string of superb saves from Oliver Baumann. Kerem Demirbay had the final word, though, his long-range strike going in off the bar to give Julian Nagelsmann's side their first win since Matchday 11.
- Joelinton scored his first goal since Matchday 10 (on 3 November 2018), his seven-game drought the longest of his Bundesliga career.
- Freiburg's 69th corner of the season was the first that led to a goal.
- Höler's goal was his fourth in the Bundesliga. His previous three had all been scored in the 89th minute or later.
- Kramaric now has six goals in six games against Freiburg. He scored his 10th successive penalty in the Bundesliga.
- Freiburg have won just one of their last 11 matches against Hoffenheim despite leading in eight of them.
- Kramaric is now Hoffenheim's leading scorer this season with eight goals.
Freiburg: Schwolow – Stenzel (Niederlechner 66'), Gulde, Heintz, Günter – Haberer, Koch, Gondorf (Ravet 74'), Frantz (c) – Petersen, Höler (Waldschmidt 65')
Unused subs: Flekken, Lienhart, Terrazzino, Kübler
Out: Borrello (knee), Höfler (knee), Kath (groin), Kleindienst (knee), Sallai (adductor)
Coach: Christian Streich
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Kaderabek, Vogt (c), Hübner, Schulz (Brenet 89') – Geiger (Amiri 77'), Grillitsch, Demirbay – Kramaric – Szalai (Posch 64'), Joelinton
Unused subs: Stolz, Bicakcic, Bittencourt, Belfodil
Out: Adams (thigh), Hack (illness), Nelson (back), Nordtveit (infection), Rupp (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann