- Hoffenheim 4-0 winners at home to Mainz.
- Szalai with second-half brace against former club.
- Nagelsmann's side on course for top-four finish.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim got back to winning ways with a 4-0 win over 1. FSV Mainz on Saturday afternoon. Mark Uth, Marco Terrazzino and Adam Szalai (x2) scored to separate the sides at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Goals: 1-0 Uth (4’), 2-0 Terrazzino (81'), 3-0 Szalai (86'), 4-0 Szalai (90+1')
Jhon Cordoba flashed a shot into Hoffenheim's outside side netting with the first attack of the game, but the hosts returned fire seconds later - and how - with Uth volleying the opening goal into the near top corner. Cordoba burst into the home box midway through the half, but Benjamin Hübner slid in to save the day at the last for Hoffenheim.
The increasingly heavy rain near Sinsheim made flowing football difficult in the second half. Szalai came on for for Andrej Kramaric late on, with Julian Nagelsmann hoping the Hungarian’s physical presence could disrupt his former teammates. Fellow second-half substitute Terrazzino took full advantage soon after, before Szalai grabbed a pair of goals to seal the 4-0 win late on.
Man of the match
Uth has started less than half of Hoffenheim's games after a Hinrunde injury, but he was thrown in here in the absence of suspended top scorer Sandro Wagner, and seized his chance.
Hoffenheim may have surrendered the last remaining undefeated record in Europe's five major leagues against RB Leipzig last Saturday, but they remain firmly on course for a UEFA Champions League place after another superlative performance.
- Uth's opener was his sixth goal in just eight starts for Hoffenheim.
- Hoffenheim remain undefeated at home, with five wins and five draws.
- Mainz have lost their last six away games – their worst run in 11 years.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Süle, Vogt, Hübner (Bicakcic 83') - Kaderabek, Zuber - Rudy (c) - Amiri, Demirbay - Uth (Terrazzino 76'), Kramaric (Szalai 69')
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Bell, Bungert (c), Brosinski - Ramalho (Frei 71'), Latza - Jairo, De Blasis - Cordoba (Öztunali 58'), Muto (Bojan 75')
Coach: Martin Schmidt