Stuttgart - Vedad Ibsevic and Alexandru Maxim tore 1899 Hoffenheim apart to give new VfB Stuttgart coach Thomas Schneider a winning start to life in the Bundesliga as the Swabians romped to a 6-2 victory in a one-sided Baden-Württemberg derby.
Ibisevic hit a hat-trick, while Maxim scored twice and provided as many assists after Antonio Rüdiger got the goalscoring underway for the hosts. Kevin Volland and Roberto Firmino netted Hoffenheim’s consolations on a day to forget for Markus Gisdol’s men.
The change in management clearly gave Stuttgart a new lease of life as they came out biting and quickly had Hoffenheim scurrying for cover. The home side soon took the lead when Rüdiger put the finishing touch on a quickly-taken free-kick which caught the Hoffenheim rearguard napping.
Anthony Modeste tried to muster a reaction for the guests, but after he pulled a shot wide of the far post, Ibisevic showed him how it should be done at the other end, piercing the Hoffenheim defence with a superb header from Maxim's corner.
Stuttgart were not to have it entirely their own way, though, as Volland’s shot took a deflection off Rüdiger to wrong-foot Sven Ulreich and bring Hoffenheim back into the encounter, although their hopes were dashed within two minutes when Maxim got his name on the scoresheet.
Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels' misjudged the bounce as he raced off his line, allowing Maxim a free run to nudge the ball into the unguarded net from the just inside the area. Timo Werner, making his starting league debut for Stuttgart at the age of just 17, went close to making it four at the end of a furious first half, but the hosts had to settle for a three-goal advantage at the break.
No let up
The second period brought little respite for Hoffenheim or Casteels as Ibisevic skipped past the forlorn custodian to make it four with his second of the game. Maxim followed suit to get bag his brace, placing a pinpoint curling effort beyond the reach of the Belgian goalkeeper.
As if to rub salt into the gaping wounds of his former club, Ibisevic completed his hat-trick with a header from close range, meeting Werner’s cross after Casteels again misjudged the flight of a cross. Firmino did manage to scramble a second goal for the visitors, but by then there was no way back as Stuttgart stylishly secured their first win of the season.
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