Arsenal loanee Konstantinos Mavropanos was on target as VfB Stuttgart registered an impresive 3-1 win over regional rivals Hoffenheim.
Stuttgart started the match as the stronger side, but Hoffenheim held their nerve and grew into the match. Andrej Kramaric looked dangerous and twice went close in the early stages, before Ilhas Bebou hit the bar. The visitors would come to rue those missed chances, as Stuttgart forged ahead with 18 minutes gone. A swift counter saw them win a corner, which Wolfsburg-owned forward Omar Marmoush floated onto the head of Marc-Oliver Kempf, who nodded it past Oliver Baumann.
Hoffenheim made a double change in order to find a way back into the game, but their task didn't get any easier in the second half. With an hour played, Mavropanos collected the ball on the right, burst through the Hoffenheim defence and unleashed a fierce left-footed drive to double Stuttgart’s advantage. Kramaric could have halved the deficit, but he just mistimed his header, leaving him to rue yet another missed opportunity. Substitute Roberto Massimo duly placed a shot beyond Baumann to all but seal the three points for Stuttgart. Hoffenheim substitute Jacob Bruun Larsen pulled one back with a shot from distance, but a comeback was not on the cards.
- Stuttgart have now scored a league-high five headed goals.
- Kempf’s effort was the first headed goal Hoffenheim have conceded this year.
- Mavropanos scored his second goal of the season. He's also weighed in with an assist.
- VfB are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Hoffenheim, and have only lost two of their 10 head-to-heads on home soil (W6, D3).
- Bruun Larsen is Hoffenheim's three-goal top scorer so far in 2021/22.
- Ton-up: Kramaric needs two more goals to reach 100 in a Hoffenheim shirt.
Stuttgart: Müller - Mavropanos, Anton, Kempf - Coulibaly (Didavi 89'), Karazor, Endo (c), Sosa - Führich (Massimo 65'), Mangala (Nartey 76') - Marmoush (Klimowicz 76')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Mola, Thommy, Al Ghaddioui, Klement
Out: Cisse (foot), Egloff (foot), Förster (ill), Kalajdzic (shoulder), Sankoh (knee), Silas (unavailable)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
Hoffenheim: Baumann (c) - Kaderabek (Akpoguma 57'), Richards, Vogt, Raum - Samassekou (Rutter 57'), Grillitsch - Bebou (Dabbur 69'), Geiger (Bruun Larsen 69'), Adamyan (Rudy 83') - Kramaric
Unused subs: Pentke, Stiller, Skov, Posch
Out: Bicakcic (knee), Hübner (back), John (ankle), Nordtveit (thigh)
Coach: Sebastian Hoeneß