Andrej Kramaric scored a brace as Hoffenheim picked up three much-needed points in a 3-0 victory away to Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.
Hoffenheim and Hertha have both been off-colour of late, collectively taking just nine of a possible 30 points in their most recent games, and that lack of confidence showed in the early exchanges with attacks breaking down and passes going astray. Hertha had an early chance to change all that when Kasim Adams tripped Jhon Cordoba in the box, but Oliver Baumann made a superb save low to his right to keep out Krzysztof Piatek’s spot-kick. The home side should have taken the lead a few minutes later but continued to misfire, first when Cordoba miscued from 10 yards from Matheus Cunha’s cut-back, and then when Peter Pekarik fired wide on the follow-up. They proved to be costly misses, as Rudy scored the game’s opening goal just after the half-hour mark, lashing the ball high into the net from the edge of the area from Christoph Baumgartner’s pass.
The hosts were much more engaged at the start of the second half and almost equalised when Cordoba out-jumped two defenders to meet a cross from the left, but could only direct his header over the bar. That profligacy was again punished by the visitors, as Diadie Samassekou’s wayward shot from 25-yards landed straight at the feet of Kramaric, who made no mistake from close range. Hertha tried to muster a response but never seriously threatened Baumann, allowing Hoffenheim to seal the points late on. Kramaric was fouled on the edge of the box as he attempted to recycle the ball after Ihlas Bebou had hit the bar with a thundering shot on the break, and the Croatian curled the resulting direct free-kick over the wall and into the top corner to crown a deserved victory for the away side.
- Baumann saved a penalty for the eighth time in the Bundesliga from 48 spot-kicks faced. He has also kept out penalties in the DFB Cup and UEFA Europa League this season.
- Rudy ended a personal 40-game goal drought, having last hit the net on 23 September 2019 in a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg.
- To date, there has never been a goalless draw in 21 Bundesliga meetings between Hertha and Hoffenheim.
- Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß got as far as the Hertha reserves in his 10 years at the club as a player, while his father Dieter was involved at board level over 13 years.
- After three games without scoring, Kramaric hit his 10th goal of the season here - seven of which have come away from home.
- The Croatian enjoys playing in Berlin: he now has seven goals in five games against Hertha at the Olympiastadion.
Watch: Piatek: “A difficult moment for us”
Hertha: Schwolow - Pekarik (Zeefuik 46'), Stark (c), Alderete, Mittelstädt (Netz 60') - Darida (Lukebakio 60'), Tousart, Guendouzi - Cunha - Cordoba, Piatek
Unused subs: Jarstein, Leckie, Ascacibar, Torunarigha, Ngankam, Redan
Out: Boyata (foot), Dilrosun (knee), Löwen (thigh), Plattenhardt (muscular)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch, Vogt (Nordtveit 60'), Adams - Rudy, Samassekou, John - Gacinovic, Baumgartner (Bogarde 88') - Kramaric (Adamyan 90'), Dabbur (Bebou 60')
Unused subs: Pentke, Brenet, Bruun Larsen, Beier, Geschwill
Out: Akpoguma (hamstring), Bicakcic (knee), Geiger (hamstring), Grillitsch (abdominals), Hübner (ankle), Kaderabek (calf), Sessegnon (match fitness), Skov (muscular), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß