Sasa Kalajdzic scored for the seventh game in a row as VfB Stuttgart built on a Kasim Adams own-goal to beat local rivals Hoffenheim 2-0 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Sebastian Rudy sent out an early sighter for the Stuttgart goal, missing by a margin, but signalling the Sinsheimers' intentions to attack. It was therefore no surprise that a Hoffenheim player got his name on the scoresheet first, although the fact it was an own goal was unexpected. Adams was the unlucky blue-shirted player who turned Silas Wamangituka's cross into his own goal and did the hosts a huge favour. Unfazed, Hoffenheim continued to ask most of the questions and they very nearly levelled just before the break when Andrej Kramaric met Pavel Kaderabek's cross, but his header was turned away well by Gregor Kobel.
Kobel continued to earn his keep, beating away a Florian Grillitsch effort from distance before Kramaric also had a go from long range, albeit without threatening Kobel's goal. Robert Skov was sent on to give Hoffenheim another attacking option, but they over-committed and Stuttgart took full advantage. Silas turned on the afterburners and raced down the right, showing composure and vision to square for Kalajdzic, who accepted the gift for his 13th goal of the season. There were no such gifts going spare at the other end of the field, on the other hand, and Kramaric again fired wide from outside the penalty area. Munas Dabbur could only find the side-netting when he finally found room to shoot from inside the area, while Kramaric did no better from a similar position and Skov had two efforts blocked on a day when Hoffenheim could probably have continued until midnight and still not found a goal.
- Kalajdzic has scored in seven successive games for Stuttgart, equalling a club record set by Fredi Bobic in 1995/96.
- Sessegnon made his first start since January 2, returning after three substitute appearances following a muscular injury.
- Stuttgart boss Matarazzo was U17 coach and first team assistant coach at Hoffenheim between summer 2017 until the end of 2019, when he took over the reins in Stuttgart.
- Stuttgart are now unbeaten in their last five matches in the Bundesliga.
- Kramaric is currently fifth in the Bundesliga scoring chart with 14 goals.
- Hoffenheim's four-game unbeaten run (two wins, two draws) came to an end.
Stuttgart: Kobel - Mavropanos, Anton, Kempf - Silas (Massimo 88'), Endo, Mangala (Ahamada 44'), Sosa - Castro (c) (Stenzel 88'), Förster (Coulibaly 61') - Kalajdzic
Unused subs: Bredlow, Didavi, Karazor, Cisse, Klimowicz
Out: Al Ghaddioui (ankle), Egloff (ankle), Gonzalez (hamstring), Mola (hip)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Adams, Grillitsch, Richards - Kaderabek, Rudy, Samassekou (Rutter 82'), Sessegnon (Skov 59') - Baumgartner (Dabbur 48') - Bebou (Adamyan 82'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Belfodil, Vogt, John, Bogarde
Out: Akpoguma (hamstring), Bicakcic (knee), Gacinovic (ankle), Geiger (hamstring), Hübner (ankle), Nordtveit (foot), Posch (not included), Stafylidis (shoulder)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß