Andrej Kramaric roared back to form as Hoffenheim scored three times in 17 second-half minutes to overturn a two-goal deficit and beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 in a dramatic Matchday 30 encounter on Wednesday.
Bayer Leverkusen's loss to Bayern Munich 24 hours earlier meant victory would take Gladbach to within a point of their sixth-placed rivals and reopen the prospect of European football next season. After a winless run of nine matches, Marco Rose's men came into the game unbeaten in four, including last weekend's 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, and Alassane Plea quickly ensured the momentum remained high, finding the net from the visitors' first shot on target albeit with the assistance of a slight deflection off Stefan Posch. The hosts had had openings for Robert Skov and Christoph Baumgartner, but had failed to trouble Tobias Sippel — standing in again for the suspended Yann Sommer — in the Gladbach goal. Ihlas Bebou didn't force a save from Sippel either, though he did test the woodwork, firing off a post after bursting past three opponents. Sippel raised his own pulse when he was caught on the ball by Baumgartner, and was fortunate to watch Skov's shot find only the side-netting. Gladbach were not so wasteful, on the other hand, and Valentino Lazaro fired home to give Marcus Thuram his second assist of the game and put his side firmly in charge at the break.
Their iron grip on the game did not last long after it though. A near-post tangle with Posch prevented Thuram clearing a corner and Kramaric, who had scored just once in his previous seven top-flight outings, prodded home his 15th league goal of the season. Bebou then greedily gobbled up a juicy Pavel Kaderabek cross to draw Hoffenheim level on the hour mark before Kramaric struck again — from another laser-guided Kaderabek delivery — to turn the match upside down. Rose responded with a triple change, but his side could not pick themselves up from the canvas, and Kramaric came within a sliver of adding a fourth as Hoffenheim nevertheless delivered a major blow to the Foals ambitions of a top-six finish.
- Kramaric now has 16 league goals this season and is just one strike shy of his PB tally set in 2018/19, while Bebou has eight league strikes this term.
- This is the first time Hoffenheim have turned around a two-goal defecit to win a Bundesliga game in the club's history.
- It's the second time this season Gladbach have seen a 2-0 half-time lead evaporate. It happened when they were beaten 3-2 by Leipzig on Matchday 23.
- All of Plea's five league goals this season have come away from home.
- Lazaro has found the net twice in the Bundesliga in 2020/21.
- This is the first time the home side has won this fixture in eight Bundesliga games. The previous home victory was Hoffenheim's barnstorming 5-3 win in Sinsheim on 15 April 2017.
Watch: Andrej Kramaric reflects on "big, big, big points"
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch, Grillitsch, Richards - Kaderabek, Baumgartner (Nordtveit 83'), Samassekou, Sessegnon - Bebou, Kramaric (Bogarde 90'+1), Skov (Adamyan 63')
Unused subs: Pentke, Dabbur, Belfodil, Rutter
Out: Akpoguma (thigh), Bicakcic (knee), Gacinovic (ankle), Geiger (hamstring), Hübner (ankle), John (knock), Rudy (knock), Stafylidis (shoulder), Vogt (calf)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
Gladbach: Sippel - Lainer (Traore 86'), Ginter (c), Elvedi, Bensebaini (Zakaria 68') - Kramer (Herrmann 75'), Neuhaus - Lazaro, Hofmann, Thuram (Wolf 68') - Plea (Embolo 68')
Unused subs: Grün, Lang, Wendt, Jantschke
Out: Sommer (suspended), Stindl (muscular)
Coach: Marco Rose
Watch: Chris Richards - "The level here just the same as at Bayern"