Two goals from Sandro Wagner helped SV Darmstadt take victory at Hannover 96 on Saturday and ruin Thomas Schaaf's debut in the home dug-out.
Hugo Almeida and Adam Szalai were brought in this month to add firepower to Hannover, and the experienced duo had an immediate impact. The latter sent a low shot across goal early on; the latter smashed home confidently from just inside the box when the ball ricocheted invitingly off his strike partner. Szalai would have joined his fellow new arrival on the scoresheet midway through the first half but for Christian Mathenia, who superbly parried the Hungary international's well-directed header.
Hannover were fortunate the visitors were not able to take advantage when they failed to clear a corner, but the goal Darmstadt had been threatening was not long in coming. Marcel Heller broke down the left, his cross was knocked down by former H96 man Jan Rosenthal and steered home by Wagner. Darmstadt very nearly had a half-time lead, but Peter Niemeyer's lob following Ron-Robert Zieler's weak punch struck a post with the Hannover 'keeper stranded.
A deft Rosenthal header also struck an upright from a Konstantin Rausch cross, but Wagner lunged in to claim his second barely after the re-start. Rosenthal would have extended the visitors' advantage but Zieler brilliantly parried his measured shot as Darmstadt maintained control of the game throughout the second half.
Man of the match
Wagner was tipped to have a bright future while at Bremen. He did not quite make the grade at the Weser Stadium, but certainly proved his worth to Darmstadt with a complete display.
Szalai and Almeida suggested early on they would add cutting edge to Hannover but ran out of steam. Will their side do the same this season?
- Almeida also scored on his Bundesliga debut for SV Werder Bremen, against Hannover in 2006
- Wagner's strikes were his fifth and sixth this season, meaning he has beaten his top-flight personal best set at Bremen in 2010/11 (5 goals)
- Wagner's brace was his second this season after his Matchday 6 double against Bremen
- It marked the 50th successive Bundesliga game involving Hannover in which at least one goal has been scored
- The Darmstadt line-up featured two former Hannover men in Rausch and Rosenthal
- Darmstadt have struck the woodwork seven times this season, four of those have come against Hannover
Hannover: Zieler - H. Sakai, Marcelo, C. Schulz (Sobiech 90'), Sorg - Hoffmann - S. Sané, Prib - Schmiedebach (Saint-Maximin 71') - Hugo Almeida, Szalai
Darmstadt: Mathenia - Garics, Sulu, Rajkovic, Caldirola - Niemeyer, Gondorf - Heller, Rausch (Kempe 77') - Rosenthal (Junior Diaz 90+2') - Wagner (Stroh-Engel 88')