TSG 1899 Hoffenheim earned their first win under head coach Huub Stevens, beating Hannover 96 1-0 courtesy of Jonathan Schmid’s first-half goal.
Goals: 1-0 Schmid (30’)
The visitors got off to a promising start at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena, carving out several chances against a deep-lying Hoffenheim team, who set themselves up to play on the counter. Michael Frontzeck’s Hannover side almost saw their superiority pay dividends when Ceyhun Gülselam rose to meet Leon Andreasen’s corner 15 minutes in, the Turkey international seeing his header hit the underside of the bar and then bounce off the left post and out. Instead, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock, Schmid doing well to head home Kevin Volland’s pinpoint cross.
Hannover kept up the pressure after the restart, dominating territory and possession, although clear-cut chances proved harder to come by at both ends in the second half. Salif Sane saw an effort fly wide shortly past the hour mark, with Nadiem Amiri and Pirmin Schwegler missing two of Hoffenheim’s rare opportunities minutes later. Hannover threw bodies forward in the final stages in search of a late equaliser, but the home side stood firm to earn only their second victory in the current campaign.
Man of the match
Hoffenheim midfielder Schmid continued his good run of form, the former SC Freiburg star finding the net for the first time at home for the Sinsheim-based club.
Since taking over in late October, Hoffenheim have only lost one in six under Stevens, winning one and drawing four to boost their chances of staying up under the experienced Dutchman. They are in with a chance of moving out of the relegation zone with victory at FC Schalke 04 next week.
- Schmid is now on four goals in the current campaign, equalling his best personal bests from the previous two seasons.
- 18-year-old Allan Saint-Maximin earned his Bundesliga start for Hannover after finding the net against Schalke last week.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Kaderabek, Süle, Schär, Kim –Schwegler (c), Strobl – Elyounoussi, Amiri (Polanski 83’), Schmid – Volland (Vargas 66’)
Hannover: Zieler – H. Sakai, Marcelo, Schulz (c), Albornoz – Gülselam (Erdinc), S. Sane - Karaman, Andreasen, Prib (Benschop 71’) – Saint-Maximin (Bähe 77’)