Hoffenheim came from behind to score four second-half goals and beat a battling Ingolstadt 5-2 on home turf, Julian Nagelsmann's side maintaining their push for a finish in the top four in the process.
Hoffenheim 5-2 Ingolstadt
Maik Walpurgis' side settled quickly and were full of purpose early, but it was the hosts who went ahead with their first shot on target. Sebastian Rudy took aim from around 30 yards out to beat Martin Hansen with fiercely-hit shot that went in off the post for the Hoffenheim skipper’s second goal in as many games. But Die Schanzer levelled when Dario Lezcano pulled the ball back to Almog Cohen, who finished from near the penalty spot.
Ingolstadt absorbed early pressure in the second half, and took the lead through an own-goal when Niklas Süle headed a corner into his net. Hoffenhem's Adam Szalai ensured the lead lasted just a few moments by directing a fine header high into the top corner of the net, before keeper Oliver Baumann kept Ingolstadt out with two brilliant close-range saves. The hosts then reclaimed the lead when a brilliant run and pass from Kerem Demirbay set up substitute Andrej Kramaric, who just seconds later crossed to allow Szalai to grab his second. Benjamin Hübner’s late header against his old side put the icing on the cake for Julian Nagelsmann’s in-form outfit.
Man of the Match
Szalai turned the match around for Hoffenheim with a rumbustious display, and a fine dribble late almost gave the Hungarian what would have been a deserved hat-trick.
Hoffenheim remain on course for Europe, and while Nagelsmann will want to address the goals they conceded, their form at the other end of the pitch means they have the top four in their own hands going into the final stretch of the season - a remarkable achievement.
- Rudy scored in two consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time.Hoffenheim boast 41 points from 23 games. That is four more points than they managed in the whole of last season.Almog Cohen is now Ingolstadt's top scorer, having reached four goals for the season to date.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Süle, Hübner, Vogt - Terrazzino (Kramaric 52'), Demirbay, Rudy (c), Amiri (Toljan, 80'), Zuber - Szalai, Wagner (Bicakcic, 85')
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Ingolstadt: Hansen - Tisserand, Bergerie, Matip (c) - Suttner, Morales (Jung, 87'), Cohen, Hadergjonaj - Lezcano, Groß (Lex 72'), Hinterseer (Kittel, 82')
Coach: Maik Walpurgis