Christoph Baumgartner scored two and set up a third as Hoffenheim snapped a seven-game winless streak with a 3-1 win over Cologne on Wednesday in a match both sides ended with ten men.
Without a win in seven games, an early goal was just what Hoffenheim needed, and they got it with Baumgartner threading through Timo Horn's legs in the 11th minute. They would have nevertheless been wary having scored early in the 1-1 draw with Paderborn at the weekend, but after VAR was consulted by referee Felix Brych to change an initial yellow card into a red card for Sebastiaan Bornauw after a foul on Baumgartner, the hosts must have fancied their chances of snapping their winless streak. It looked even better for Alfred Schreuder's men when Baumgartner tucked the ball into the back of the net from Munas Dabbur's pass just before half-time, but VAR this time ruled against the hosts with the goal chalked off for offside.
Baumgartner did not have to wait long before celebrating his second goal: it was only 40 seconds after the restart when he headed in Robert Skov's cross, despite Jorge Mere's attempt to clear it off the line. He then turned provider for Hoffenheim's third, neatly backheeling the ball into the path of Steven Zuber, who tucked it into the far corner. A red card to Hoffenheim captain Benjamin Hübner restored parity in terms of personnel, and Florian Kainz set about trying to even up the scoreline by pulling one back for Cologne, with the aid of a deflection off Havard Nordtveit. The Norway international defender was then guilty of a handball in the penalty area, giving ex-Hoffenheim man Mark Uth the chance to bring Cologne back to within a goal from the spot only for Oliver Baumann to come to the hosts' rescue.
- Hoffenheim have won each of the last four meetings with Cologne, scoring 14 goals and conceding just twice in the process.
- Hoffenheim scored an early goal for the second game running, netting in the 11th minute after opening the scoring against Paderborn in the fourth minute on Matchday 27.
- Baumgartner scored two goals in a single Bundesliga game for the first time, moving onto six for the season.
- Kainz has scored four goals in a single season for the first time.
- Nordtveit (eight matches) is undefeated in his Bundesliga career against Cologne, and so are Hübner and Pavel Kaderabek (six).
- Cologne boss Markus Gisdol was stationed in the Hoffenheim dugout from April 2013 to October 2015, and helped save Hoffenheim from relegation in his first year.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek, Posch, Hübner (c), Zuber - Sammasekou, Grillitsch (Rudy 45+3') – Bruun Larsen (Nordtveit 52'), Baumgartner (Geiger 77'), Skov – Dabbur (Bebou 58')
Unused subs: Pentke, Bicakcic, Ribeiro, Bogarde, Beier
Out: Adamyan (ankle), Belfodil (knee), Kramaric (ankle), Stafylidis (muscular)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Cologne: Horn (c) - Ehizibue (Mere 32'), Bornauw, Leistner, Schmitz (Hector 82') - Skhiri, Rexhbecaj - Drexler (Kainz 56'), Uth (Terodde 82'), Jakobs – Cordoba (Modeste 82')
Unused subs: Kessler, Höger, Thielmann, Katterbach
Out: Hauptmann (groin), Risse (knee)
Coach: Markus Gisdol