Wout Weghorst struck a hat-trick, including two penalties, as Wolfsburg narrowed the deficit on Hoffenheim to two points with a 3-2 win at the PreZero Arena.
Andrej Kramaric teed up Pavel Kaderabek for the first shot of the game, although Koen Casteels was not tested enough by the Czech's eighth-minute daisy-cutter. Ten minutes later, Xaver Schlager's effort at the other end struck Sebastian Rudy's outstretched arm, and the referee pointed to the spot. Weghorst stepped up and sent Oliver Baumann the wrong way to convert the Wolves' first chance of the game. The hosts risked falling further behind when Weghorst's header could only be parried by Baumann to the waiting Admir Mehmedi, who tucked the ball in from close range, but VAR ruled the Swiss forward was in an offside position. From being virtually two behind at the break, Hoffenheim managed instead to level matters on the stroke of half-time when Kramaric's cross was headed in from close range by Christoph Baumgartner.
There was another penalty shout from Wolfsburg early in the second half, and VAR was consulted before Weghorst was ultimately given the opportunity to assert himself in more mind games with Baumann and beat the Hoffenheim custodian for the second time from the spot. On a busy afternoon for VAR, another penalty was awarded – this time for the hosts – when Weghorst's arm was struck from a Robert Skov free-kick. Kramaric took the honour to beat Casteels and bring Hoffenheim level once again. Baumgartner then brought two fine saves out of Casteels as the hosts pushed to go in front for the first time, but they instead found themselves behind for a third time when Maximilian Arnold sent a pass through for Weghorst to dink past Baumann and complete his hat-trick.
- Sebastian Rudy made his 216th Bundesliga appearance for Hoffenheim, equalling the club record held by Andreas Beck.
- Weghorst's first goal ended a personal scoring drought of 579 minutes - his longest ever; he has converted all seven penalties he has taken in the Bundesliga and has now scored three hat-tricks in Germany's top flight.
- Baumann has been beaten by the last 12 penalties he has had to face in the Bundesliga.
- The last time Wolfsburg had two penalties in one game was in October 2008, in a 3-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
- Wolfsburg have lost just one of their last eight games against Hoffenheim (W3, D4).
Watch: Weghorst: "It's the best feeling for a striker!"
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Posch, Bicakcic (Zuber 46'), Hübner (c) – Kaderabek, Rudy (Bruun Larsen 46'), Grillitsch (Dabbur 74'), Samassekou, Skov - Kramaric, Baumgartner
Unused subs: Pentke, Stafylidis, Nordtveit, Adamyan, Akpoguma, Lucas Ribeiro
Out: Belfodil (knee), Elmkies (knock), Geiger (thigh)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Mbabu, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon - Schlager, Guilavogui (c), Arnold - Steffen (Brekalo 69'), Weghorst (Ginczek 90+1'), Mehmedi (Klaus 86')
Unused subs: Pervan, Paulo Otavio, Gerhardt, Tisserand, Joao Victor, May
Out: Camacho (ankle), Pongracic (suspended), William (knee)
Coach: Oliver Glasner