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Andrej Kramaric double as Hoffenheim win relegation six-pointer against Hertha Berlin


Andrej Kramaric converted two penalties to give Hoffenheim a lifeline in this season's relegation royal rumble, helping earn his side a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Hertha Berlin.

Hoffenheim 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Goals: 1-0 Kramaric (pen. 24'), 2-0 Kramaric (pen. 37'), 3-0 Bebou (51'), 3-1 Jovetic (90'+2)
Sent off: Dabbur (71')

Having slipped to the bottom of the table following defeat against Freiburg last week, Hoffenheim began here eager to seize the opportunity this relegation six-pointer presented. Robert Skov tested the water early on with a shot from range before some sublime skill from Kramaric – controlling a long ball forward on his chest and then getting a shot away on the volley that Oliver Christensen did well to block – confirmed that the home side were very much on top. Their pressure eventually took its toll when John Brooks' goal-bound header was handled by Tolga Cigerci, with Kramaric coolly converting the resultant spot-kick. He doubled his side's advantage before the interval with another penalty, this time after Augustin Rogel felled Ihlas Bebou inside the area.

In Stevan Jovetic and 10-goal top scorer Dodi Lukebakio, Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz brought on two strikers at the interval in an effort to rekindle his side's attacking threat, but it was Hoffenheim who scored again. There appeared to be little danger when Bebou leaped for a long ball forward surrounded by defenders, but he somehow managed to outfox three opponents before flicking the ball into the net with the outside of his boot. Not content to stop there, Pellegrino Matarazzo's side remained on the front foot and almost added a fourth through Angelo Stiller's rasping volley that forced Christensen into another save. The tide swung Hertha's way in the 71st minute when Munas Dabbur was sent off within seconds of coming off the bench for a late challenge on Lukebakio, but even with an extra man the visitors were laboured to create any chances of note, with Jovetic's stoppage-time goal little more than a consolation. As such, Hoffenheim leapfrogged Hertha in the standings to go 15th as the game of musical chairs at the foot of the table continues.

Match stats

  • Kramaric now as 12 goals in 14 Bundesliga appearances against Hertha - more than any other team he's faced.
  • The Croatian has a team-leading seven Bundesliga goals for the season - one more than he tallied in 2021/22. He hadn't scored since Matchday 17.
  • Third (and fourth) time's a charm: Kramaric had missed the first two penalties he took this season.
  • Hertha have conceded six penalties in 2022/23, and 22 since summer 2020.
  • Bebou's goal was his third this season, and 25th overall in the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim.
  • The Old Lady are this season's worst away team, with four points from 12 games (W1, D1, L10).

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Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Akpoguma, Vogt (Bicakcic 84'), Brooks - Kaderabek, Geiger, Stiller (Delaney 83'), Skov (Angelino 83') – Baumgartner (Dabbur 69') - Bebou, Kramaric (Becker 76')
Unused subs: Philipp, Rudy, Bischof, Tohumcu
Out: Bruun Larsen (groin), Che (knee), Dolberg (concussion), Kabak (suspended), Nsoki (hip), Prömel (ankle)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo

Hertha: Christensen - Rogel, Uremovic, Plattenhardt (c) (Kenny 65') - Richter (Boateng 65'), Tousart, Cigerci (Jovetic 46'), Serdar (Kanga 73'), Mittelstädt - Ngankam, Niederlechner (Lukebakio 46')
Unused subs: Ernst, Pekarik, Scherhant, Klemens
Out: Boëtius (shoulder), Dardai (muscular), Ejuke (knee), Jarstein (not considered), Kempf (hip), Nsona (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz