After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the game burst into life with 1899 duo Sven Schipplock and Roberto Firmino striking either side of Joselu's equaliser.
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 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 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.
Line-ups and statistics