Andrej Kramaric scored his seventh goal of the season upon his return from injury, but it was not enough to win a topsy-turvy game for Hoffenheim in a 3-3 draw at home to VfB Stuttgart.
With Hoffenheim on a five-game winless run and deprived of nine first-team regulars at kick-off, Stuttgart immediately set out to take advantage, aggressively harrying their hosts high up the pitch. An early Daniel Didavi shot that fizzed wide was one of five efforts in the opening quarter of an hour, but instead it was the home team who struck first when Christoph Baumgartner played an accidental one-two with VfB defender Waldemar Anton before curling into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Their advantage did not last long, though, as Nico Gonzalez equalised two minutes later, jinking past three defenders after cutting in from the right and bending a brilliant effort past Oliver Baumann. The Argentinian hit the bar with a header as the half-hour mark approached, and although Silas Wamangituka struck a post on the rebound, the Congolese midfielder was able to bundle home at the second attempt to give Stuttgart a deserved lead at the interval.
That all changed within moments of the restart when Kramaric released Ryan Sessegnon down the left and the Tottenham Hotspur loanee smashed in at the near post to level the score. That swung momentum very much Hoffenheim’s way, with Kramaric firing off target with an ambitious overhead kick before the Croatian was denied by a fine save from Gregor Kobel following a driving run by Baumgartner. Their pressure eventually proved too much for Stuttgart to handle and when Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty after Anton brought down Florian Grillitsch, there was little doubt as to who would take it: Kramaric stepped up and coolly slotted in his seventh goal of the season in just his fourth outing. Stuttgart poured forward in the closing stages, and just when it looked like Hoffenheim would hold on for their first win since September, Marc-Oliver Kempf stuck a brilliant equaliser in the 93rd minute, shooting on the turn to add another twist to an entertaining game.
- Baumgartner scored his first goal of the season, and it was also Hoffenheim’s firs shot of the game.
- Kramaric made his first appearance since Matchday 3. His goal means he becomes the first Hoffenheim player to score in six consecutive outings - registering 12 goals in that period.
- Gonzalez was on target for a third consecutive Bundesliga match, and now has more goals (three) than he managed in his first full top-flight campaign (two in 30 games in 2018/19).
- Wamangituka netted his third of the season, and put VfB ahead in a game for the first time.
- Sessegnon's goal was his first in the Bundesliga, scored with his first ever shot in Germany's top flight.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo was Julian Nagelsmann's assistant coach at Hoffenheim in 2018/19. Opposite number Sebastian Hoeneß won the U17 Bundesliga as a player with Stuttgart in 1999.
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Posch, Nordtveit, Akpoguma - Samassekou, Grillitsch (Gacinovic 76'), Geiger, Sessegnon - Baumgartner (Klauss 86'), Kramaric (Beier 90'+1) - Bebou
Unused subs: Pentke, Brenet, Adams, John, Bogarde
Out: Adamyan (not included), Belfodil (not included), Bicakcic (knee), Bruun Larsen (not included), Dabbur (not included), Hübner (ankle), Rudy (not included), Skov (not included), Stafylidis (shoulder), Vogt (not included)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
Stuttgart: Kobel - Stenzel (Klement 75'), Anton, Kempf - Silas, Endo, Mangala, Coulibaly (Sosa 59') - Didavi (Klimowicz 59'), Castro (c) (Förster 75') - Gonzalez (Kalajdzic 32')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Karazor, Churlinov, Kaminski
Out: Al Ghaddioui (pelvis), Mavropanos (knee), Mola (hip), Thommy (elbow), Awoudja (Achilles tendon)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo