VfB Stuttgart took the south-west derby spoils at a canter thanks to a resounding 5-1 win over lowly TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
After a run of three games without a win, Stuttgart wasted little time in setting the record straight on Matchday 25. Just six minutes had passed when Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann spilled an effort from Lukas Rupp, with Georg Niedermeier reacting fastest to sweep the loose ball into the roof of the net. Die Schwaben created ample chances to add to their tally before Rupp, having fluffed his lines when one-on-one with Baumann earlier in the match, lashed into the bottom corner following another incisive passing move down the left-hand side.
Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann had used up all three of his allotted substitutes by the time the second half got under way, but the changes did little to alter the one-sided nature of the contest. Niedermeier’s second of the afternoon gave the beleaguered visitors a mountain to climb, and although Leicester City FC loanee Andrej Kramaric did manage to pull one back, further goals from the brilliant Filip Kostic and substitute Timo Werner provided a fitting climax to an utterly dominant Stuttgart display.
Man of the match
A goal and assist were the least Kostic deserved following a devastating individual performance down the left-hand side.
The games are not getting any easier for second-bottom Hoffenheim with VfL Wolfsburg coming up on Matchday 26, but they do still have to face the two clubs currently either side of them in the standings - Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover 96 - before the season is out.
- Stuttgart scored in the opening 15 minutes of a match for the first time this season.
- Hoffenheim have conceded seven goals in the opening quarter-hour of matches in 2015/16.
- Stuttgart striker Artem Kravets, currently on loan from FC Dynamo Kyiv, made his full Bundesliga debut.
- Niedermeier had never scored more than one Bundesliga goal in a single season until now (three).
- Kostic corners have resulted in five Stuttgart goals since the turn of the year.
- It was the first time Stuttgart had scored five since beating Hoffenheim 6-2 in September 2013.
Stuttgart: Tyton - Großkreutz, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Insua - Serey Die - Rupp, Gentner (c) (Klein 46'), Didavi (Maxim 81'), Kostic - Kravets (Werner 67')
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Schär, Süle, Bicakcic (Kramaric 34') - Kaderabek, Toljan - Polanski (c) - Hamad (Schmid 46'), Amiri - Uth (Vargas 46'), Volland