TSG 1899 Hoffenheim pulled up to seventh - outside of the European places on goal-difference - after beating FC Ingolstadt 04 2-1 at the Audi Sportpark.
Mathew Leckie's pace looked like it might prove problematic for former Ingolstadt teammate Benjamin Hübner early on, but with Hoffenheim employing a back three there was always cover, and the visitors exerted their influence after a difficult opening 10 minutes, with Sandro Wagner prodding home Andrej Kramaric's cross. Julian Nagelsmann's men then doubled their advantage 10 minutes before the interval when Kerem Demirbay capitalised on some penalty-box pin-ball.
Ingolstadt coach Markus Kauczinski brought Dario Lezcano on for Almog Cohen at half-time, and the Paraguay striker added some much-needed verve to the home attack, with Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann turning a Leckie drive around his far post for a corner soon after. At the other end, Adam Szalai - a late substitute for Wagner - saw a shot hit the post, before Lukas Hinterseer steered home an injury-time penalty for the hosts and it ended 2-1.
In 17th after six matchdays last season, Hoffenheim are a wholly different proposition this term. A victory over Ingolstadt in isolation may not be something to write home about, but the Sinsheim club are now fully in coach Nagelsmann's image. Still undefeated, European qualification, rather than survival, should be the goal in 2016/17
- Hoffenheim remain unbeaten this season. After kicking off the campaign with four draws, they have now won their last two.Wagner's goal was his second in five games since his summer signing from SV Darmstadt 98.Kramaric's assist was his fourth this term. He also laid on three of the four goals in the improbable 4-4 comeback against 1.FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 2.Ingolstadt are now on an 11-match losing streak, stretching back to last season.
Ingolstadt: Nyland - Levels, Matip (c), Tisserand, Jung - Cohen (Lezcano 46’), Roger, Groß - Hartmann (Christiansen 69’), Leckie (Lex 59’) - Hinterseer
Coach: Markus Kauczinski
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek, Hübner, Süle, Toljan - Vogt - Rudy (c), Rupp - Demirbay (Amiri 53’), (Polanski 70’), Kramaric - Wagner (Szalai 69’)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann