Bayer Leverkusen cruise past Hoffenheim to spoil Pellegrino Matarazzo's debut
Goals from Robert Andrich, Moussa Diaby and Adam Hlozek helped Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen get back to winning ways against a Hoffenheim side who sild further into trouble as a result.
Hoffenheim 1-3 Leverkusen
Goals: 0-1 Andrich 6' (assist: Wirtz), 0-2 Diaby 47' (assist: Frimpong), 0-3 Hlozek 56' (assist: Frimpong), 1-3 Nsoki 77'
With Pellegrino Matarazzo arriving at the Hoffenheim helm during the week, the Sinsheimers - previously winless in nine games - were hopeful their 2022/23 travails could be eased with a new-manager bounce. Just minutes into this Matchday 20 encounter, however, the home faithful were enduring yet more heartache. Keen to quickly return to winning ways after back-to-back losses, Leverkusen were soon menacing. Diaby’s cross from the left was deflected into the path of Florian Wirtz, whose lay-off for Andrich was wonderfully struck from distance into the corner of the goal. Sensing the already waning home spirits, Bayer, and Jeremie Frimpong in particular, looked to inflict more pain. Leverkusen’s No. 30 headed onto the roof of the net before later being sent clear by Edmond Tapsoba and seeing his shot saved by Oliver Baumann.
Having drifted back to 10 points off the division's top six, Leverkusen sensed there was a big opportunity here to reignite hopes, however faint, of a European push. When Frimpong raced down the right and set up Diaby with an unmissable chance just two minutes after the break, the visitors' work at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena was largely complete. Extra stars were added to the B04 copybook when Hlozek's low drive from another Frimpong assist evaded Ozan Kabak and Baumann for 3-0. With the visitors threatening to post a huge score, Hoffenheim finally found a response. Stanley Nsoki smashed home following a goalmouth scramble while Lukas Hradecky was forced into a double save from Andrej Kramaric and Kabak thereafter. It all came too late for Matarazzo's men, who go back to the drawing board in hope of plotting a brighter future.
- Andrich's sixth-minute opener was Leverkusen's quickest goal this season.
- As many as six of Andrich's 12 Leverkusen goals have been scored from long range.
- Diaby has scored all seven of his Bundesliga goals this season in the 12 matches under coach Xabi Alonso.
- Hlozek scored his third Bundesliga goal and his first away from home.
- Frimpong provided two assists in a game for the first time.
- TSG have conceded 28 times at home against Bayer in the Bundesliga, more than against any other team.
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Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Kabak, Brooks, Nsoki - Akpoguma, Geiger (Dolberg 46'), Delaney (Tohumcu 64'), Angelino (Bischof 64') - Baumgartner - Bebou (Asllani 73'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Philipp, Bicakcic, Rudy, Stiller, Dabbur
Out: Bruun Larsen (groin), Kaderabek (thigh), Prömel (ankle), Skov (calf), Vogt (thigh)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie - Frimpong (Bellarabi 86'), Demirbay (Adli 82'), Andrich, Sinkgraven (Bakker 81') - Diaby (Palacios 73'), Wirtz, Hlozek (Amiri 73')
Unused subs: Pentz, Kossounou, Mbamba, Azmoun
Out: Aranguiz (calf), Lunev (back), Schick (groin)
Coach: Xabi Alonso
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