bundesliga

Andrej Kramaric inspires Hoffenheim in victory that ends unbeaten Wolfsburg run

Andrej Kramaric was on target for Hoffenheim, who broke Wolfsburg's nine-match unbeaten run with a confident 2-1 victory.

Hoffenheim 2-1 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Baumgartner (8'), 1-1 Weghorst (23'), 2-1 Kramaric (41')
Red card: Otavio (90+4)

Despite the visitors having gone seven games without conceding, it took the hosts just eight minutes to breach the league’s best defence. Christoph Baumgartner was the man to do so, first starting and then finishing a slick team move in style as he lashed the ball beyond Koen Casteels and into the back of the net via the crossbar. Casteels was razor-sharp moments later to keep Sebastian Rudy’s rasping drive at bay, before Wout Weghorst pulled his team level at the over end midway through the first half. The Dutchman raced clear to receive Xaver Schlager’s through ball and kept his cool with a clinical, chipped finish over Oliver Baumann. However, Hoffenheim were back in front before half time as Pavel Kaderabek’s cross found its way to Kramaric, who was never going to miss from 10 yards.

Oliver Glasner called on Admir Mehmedi and Joao Victor at the restart to try and find a way back into things as his team looked to complete a turnaround that would drive home their place in third. They should have been level eight minutes later, but Weghorst could only fire over when six yards from goal. Just after the hour mark, Weghorst was uncharacteristically guilty of spurning another superb opening as the 28-year-old headed over from similarly close range. Those missed opportunities ultimately proved costly and Wolfsburg also saw substitute Paulo Otavio sent off in the dying moments when he denied Munas Dabbur a tap-in as Hoffenheim broke clear with Casteels having gone up field for a corner. The result takes Hoffenheim to within three points of the top half, while Wolfsburg remain third, their lead over fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen cut to five points.

Match stats

  • Kramaric has contributed 18 of Hoffenheim's 38 Bundesliga goals this season (14 goals, four assists). He's scored four and assisted two in nine meetings with Wolfsburg.
  • This was just Hoffenheim's seventh win in 26 meetings with Wolfsburg and ends a five game winless run against Saturday's visitors.
  • Hoffenheim's opener saw Casteels concede for the first time in 674 Bundesliga minutes.
  • Weghorst has scored at least 15 Bundesliga goals in each of his past three seasons.
  • The Netherlands international has also scored seven and assisted three in six meetings with Hoffenheim.
  • Each of Wolfsburg's three league defeats this season have come on the road.

Line-ups

Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Adams, Grillitsch, Richards - Kaderabek, Rudy (Bogarde 90+2), Samassekou, John (Sessegnon 53') - Baumgartner - Bebou (Skov 77'), Kramaric (Dabbur 77')
Unused subs: Philipp, Brenet, Belfodil, Adamyan
Out: Akpoguma (hamstring), Bicakcic (knee), Gacinovic (ankle), Geiger (hamstring), Hübner (ankle), Nordtveit (foot), Posch (not included), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß
 
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu (Victor 46'), Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio - Schlager (Bialek 84'), Arnold - Baku, Gerhardt (Mehmedi 46'), Steffen (Ginczek 71') - Weghorst
Unused subs: Pervan, Brekalo, Philipp, Guilavogui, Siersleben
Out: Pongracic (suspended), Roussillon (calf)
Coach: Oliver Glasner