Vedad Ibisevic (r.) was on target again for VfB Stuttgart against Hannover
Vedad Ibisevic (r.) was on target again for VfB Stuttgart against Hannover

Stuttgart soar as Augsburg and Hoffenheim win away

Munich - VfB Stuttgart hit four to beat Hannover 96, while there were precious away wins for 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Augsburg on Saturday afternoon.

VfB Stuttgart 4-2 Hannover 96 rounds up another thrilling afternoon of action in Germany's top flight...

VfB Stuttgart ran out 4-2 winners in a barnstorming encounter at home to travelsick Hannover 96.

Last season, both these sides were representing the Bundesliga in the UEFA Europa League, and that is their common objective for next season. A point would therefore have been of little help to either, and it was soon clear they both wanted all three. The goals soon arrived, the first coming when a low cross from the right from Moritz Leitner set up the unmarked Martin Harnik for an easy finish at the far post. Artur Sobiech soon levelled for Hannover, taking advantage of a mix-up between Daniel Schwaab and Ron-Robert Zieler.

Rausch seals win

The first turnaround was complete when Szabolcs Huszti's free-kick was met by Salif Sane, who headed the ball past Ulreich, taking the Stuttgart goalkeeper's fist in his face in the process. Hannover were still celebrating when they afforded too much room to Moritz Leitner down the right wing, and his cross was a perfect invitation for captain Vedad Ibisevic to dive in and head past Zieler.

Stuttgart regained the lead early in the second half when Ibrahim Traore powered in the fifth of the game, and former Hannover midfielder Konstantin Rausch beat the offside trap to give the hosts a cushion, the points, and an advantage in the race for a place in Europe.

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Hamburger SV 0-1 FC Augsburg

Raul Bobadilla scored the only goal of the game as FC Augsburg registered a surprise 1-0 win away to Hamburger SV.

The city of Hamburg was hit by a storm over the past few days, but that was tame in comparison to the strength of Swiss striker Bobadilla, who went close to giving Augsburg the lead in the 14th minute, but for a fine save from Rene Adler. Bobadilla it was who put Augsburg in front four minutes later, marking his starting debut with a poacher's goal at the far post, turning in a cross with his left foot to put the visitors in front, ensuring the Bavarians went ahead for the first time this season on their travels.

Little reaction

Bobadilla had chances to make it two for the guests and Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk probably found some choice words for his team during the interval, but it was probably more a shot from Tobias Werner immediately in the second half which sparked them into action.

Nevertheless, the northern Germany side struggled to impose themselves on the game in front of an increasingly frustrated home support as Augsburg defended resolutely and Hamburg, in the absence of their captain Rafael van der Vaart, lacked ideas, leaving them empty-handed.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 1899 Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt remain without a home league win all season following a 2-1 defeat to 1899 Hoffenheim.

Frankfurt began in expansive fashion with Takashi Inui’s effort from distance the highlight of the opening exchanges. The strike didn’t worry Jens Grahl unduly, however, who remained untroubled throughout the rest of the half, bar one powerful attempt from Hoffenheim loanee Joselu. The hosts almost suffered the own-goal ignominy which has been becoming all too common a sight when Kai Herdling’s 24th minute free kick took a big deflection and almost wrong-footed Kevin Trapp, who just recovered. As it was, the visitors had to rely on the effervescent Roberto Firmino, whose bright link-up play lacked a touch of precision.

Hoffenheim stay true to their goals

As is Hoffenheim’s wont, it didn’t remain goalless for long. Within a minute of the restart Sven Schipplock’s left-footed finish had broken the deadlock, only for Frankfurt to equalise with their next attack. Inui’s through-ball was kept in brilliantly by Vaclav Kadlec, whose cutback was met by an arriving Joselu for his third goal in as many home games.

In an end-to-end second period, Hoffenheim restored their lead a mere two minutes after going behind, Firmino latching onto Schipplock’s low cross to poke home and it should have been more when moments later Kevin Volland crashed against the post from another Schipplock cross. The visitors closed the game without trouble, with Sebastian Rudy’s late clearance off the line ensuring the wait goes on for struggling Frankfurt.

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