TSG 1899 Hoffenheim boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 victory over Europe-chasing VfL Wolfsburg.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 1-0 VfL Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Kramaric (3')
Hoffenheim took the lead with only three minutes gone when Andrej Kramaric cut inside and thrashed his third goal since his winter arrival from Leicester City FC into the far top corner. Wolves midfielder Josuha Guilavogui stung Oliver Baumann's gloves at the other end soon after, before TSG's Mark Uth flashed a volley wide in an end-to-end first half.
Hoffenheim nearly made it 2-0 inside the hour, but Kevin Volland's penalty was saved by his former Kraichgauer teammate Koen Casteels. Wolfsburg dominated possession in the final 20 minutes, but their passes failed to penetrate. Daniel Caligiuri's two miscued efforts late on summed up a frustrating afternoon for the visitors and Hoffenheim held on for their third consecutive home win.
Man of the match
Kramaric. Only Nadiem Amiri (13km) covered more distance than the Hoffenheim striker (10.2 km) before Julian Nagelsmann decided to rest the Croat. His opening goal was beautifully taken, and his hard running thereon pressured Wolfsburg into long balls forward that Max Kruse - scorer of a hat-trick in the reverse fixture - was powerless to capitalise upon.
Wolfsburg need more strength in depth if they are to challenge on multiple fronts. Whilst Tuesday's win over KAA Gent guaranteed their progression to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, Dieter Hecking's men are now winless in their last five Bundesliga games following midweek European duty. A nucleus of 14 Wolves players have played over 1,000 minutes of Bundesliga football this campaign, with Naldo and Kruse topping out at over 2,000 minutes each.
- Despite their win, Hoffenheim have now occupied one of the bottom two positions for the past 19 Matchdays.Hoffenheim have yet to drop any points at their WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena under the Bundesliga's youngest coach, Nagelsmann.This was Andre Schürrle's first defeat against Hoffenheim. The former 1. FC Mainz and Bayer 04 Leverkusen forward had won each of his previous ten games against Die Kraichgauer.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek, Bicakcic, Süle, Toljan - Schär (Canouse 67') - Vargas (Ochs 55'), Amiri - Uth, Volland (c) - Kramaric (Elyounoussi 77')
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Träsch (Henrique 70'), Knoche, Dante, Rodriguez - Gustavo (c) - Guilavogui, Arnold (Schäfer 75') - D. Caligiuri, Schürrle - M. Kruse (Vieirinha 60')