Andrej Kramaric grabbed his fourth goal in as many Bundesliga games this season, but Rouwen Hennings responded with his 10th of the campaign as Hoffenheim and Fortuna Düsseldorf played out an entertaining draw at the PreZero Arena.
Hoffenheim 1-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 1-0 Kramaric (6'), 1-1 Hennings (88')
Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann gathered an early free-kick from Kaan Ayhan, but was rarely tested thereafter as the hosts seized control of the game. Kramaric continued his useful habit of scoring in every league game this season as he latched onto Florian Grillitsch's lovely ball over the top and side-footed past Zack Steffen for 1-0. Perhaps still feeling the effects of their 4-0 loss to Bayern Munich, Düsseldorf struggled to make inroads into a well-organised TSG defence – or get top scorer Hennings properly involved. There didn't seem to be quite the same hangover for Hoffenheim after their shock 5-1 loss at home to Mainz, with Sargis Adamyan almost adding a second after another fine delivery from Grillitsch. Pavel Kaderabek nearly scored with an inadvertent backheel on the stroke of half-time, but Fortuna limited the damage and went in a goal down at the break.
Düsseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel introduced Erik Thommy at the start of the second half, and the midfielder almost helped to bring his side level within five minutes, curling in a brilliant free-kick that Ayhan headed over the bar. Hoffenheim responded as Jürgen Locadia looked to arrow a low drive into the corner, but USA keeper Steffen did well to keep it out with a strong one-handed save. The visitors continued to up the tempo, with Hennings firing into the side netting and then sending a free-kick high and wide, although TSG should then have doubled their lead from a corner: Kramaric's low header was saved by Steffen, Stefan Posch and Ermin Bicakcic scrambled the rebound onto the bar, and Adamyan headed off target from point-blank range. Ayhan spurned a glorious opening after being teed up by Alfredo Morales, but Hennings finally found the breakthrough with two minutes to go, firing low past Baumann to give Fortuna a share of the spoils.
- Kramaric has netted in all four of his Bundesliga appearances this term and is now Hoffenheim's leading scorer. He has averaged a goal every 79 minutes so far.
- Kramaric took his Bundesliga tally to 54 goals, which means he is now the second highest-scoring Croatian in the German top flight. The Hoffenheim No.27 has overtaken Mario Mandzukic (53 for Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich) but still has some work to do to catch Ivica Olic (72 for Hamburg, Bayern and Wolfsburg).
- Fortuna's Hennings is the third-top scorer in the league with 10 goals. Robert Lewandowski (16) and Timo Werner (13) are the only two players ahead of him in the Torjägerkanone race.
- Hennings is the first Fortuna player ever to reach double figures after the first 13 games of a Bundesliga season. Of his 18 goals in the German top flight, eight have been to open the scoring and six to rescue a draw.
- Despite suffering tendonitis in his knee, Fortuna and USA No.1 Steffen has made a league second-best 49 saves. Only Rafal Gikiewicz (54) has more.
- Hoffenheim were on a club-record run of five consecutive wins before their 5-1 reverse against Mainz. They have never won six games in a row.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Posch, Vogt (c), Bicakcic – Kaderabek, Rudy, Grillitsch (Samassekou 86'), Skov – Kramaric – Adamyan (Geiger 74'), Locadia (Bebou 60')
Unused subs: Pentke, Stafylidis, Nordtveit, Rupp, Baumgartner, Akpoguma
Out: Belfodil (knee), Ochs (ankle), Zuber (foot)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Düsseldorf: Steffen – Ayhan, Hoffmann, Adams – Sobottka (Bodzek 64 – Zimmer (Thommy 46'), Zimmermann, Morales, Suttner – Tekpetey (Kownacki 60'), Hennings (c)
Unused subs: Kastenmeier, Fink, Gießelmann, Ampomah, Bormuth, Baker
Out: Contento (ankle), Karaman (pneumonia), Pledl (knee), Stöger (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Friedhelm Funkel