It was expected to be a scrap for the points, but instead it turned into a parade. Hoffenheim faced up to the challenge with Roberto Firmino putting them ahead early on, putting the finishing touch to a swift counterattack to beat Jaroslav Drobny. Hamburg's reply was a series of free kicks from Rafael van der Vaart, none of which threatened Koen Casteels' goal. Hoffenheim, by contrast, were far more of a threat, and Niklas Süle ensured they took a two-goal lead into the break as he leapt highest to head in at the far post.
There was little sign of an improvement from the guests in the second half either, and Hoffenheim put the result beyond doubt thanks to Andreas Beck's first goal of the season. Once again, it looked too easy for Firmino to get in around the back and pull the ball across for the defender to tuck in from close range.
Hamburg, who have now conceded 43 - one more than Hoffenheim - had no reply, going down to a fifth straight defeat for only the third time in their history, and leaving them inside the bottom three, while Hoffenheim opened up a gap of five points over the relegation zone with a much-needed win.
Line-ups and statistics