TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s impressive run of form continued as a 2-1 win on home soil against Hertha Berlin saw Sinsheim club stretch their unbeaten streak to five games, moving them three points clear of the drop zone.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-1 Hertha Berlin
On the back of conceding seven times in two games, Hertha prioritised defensive stability during the early stages of an evenly contested encounter. Two headers either side of the half-hour mark did little to change the complexion of the game, as first Hertha’s Niklas Stark and then Hoffenheim’s Fabian Schär got themselves on the scoresheet from set-pieces. Salomon Kalou struck the woodwork soon afterwards, but both sides were forced to settle for parity at half time.
The pace of proceedings was maintained after the break with both sides moving the ball swiftly, yet set-piece situations continued to provide the most promising chances. John Anthony Brooks couldn’t find the target with his headed effort, while at the other end Hoffenheim made their chance count late on when Niklas Süle flicked on for Mark Uth to snatch the winning goal less than five minutes from time.
Man of the match
Süle’s stock will continue to rise on the back of performances like this. The young centre-back won over 66 per cent of his challenges, completed 91 per cent of his passes and provided an expert assist for Hoffenheim’s winner.
At just 28 years old, it looks like head coach Julian Nagelsmann is the saviour Hoffenheim had been searching for all season. The Sinsheim side have picked up 20 of a possible 30 points under their new head coach and now sit in 13th place, their highest standing since Matchday 1.
- The first Bundesliga goal of Schär’s career was also Hoffenheim’s first goal scored by a centre-back this season.Hoffenheim have scored four of their seven goals from set-piece situations in their last four outings.Uth has scored five of his six goals this season since Nagelsmann took over.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Strobl, Süle, Schär (Kaderabek 53’) - Ochs (Schwegler 67’), Amiri, Polanski, Toljan - Volland (c) (Zuber 85’), Uth - Kramaric
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Hertha: Jarstein - Pekarik, Stark, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Skjelbred, Lustenberger (c) - Haraguchi (Baumjohann 88’), Darida (van den Bergh 85’), Kalou - Ibisevic (Schieber 73’)
Coach: Pal Dardai