TSG 1899 Hoffenheim maintained their unbeaten record this season with a 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin which saw them leapfrog their guests into third in the Bundesliga.
Goals: 1-0 Süle (31')
Fabian Lustenberger came to Hertha's rescue early on, clearing Süle's header off the line from an early corner. At the other end, an excellent save from Oliver Baumann turned Allan's shot from the edge of the penalty area wide with chances being created at both ends. Lukas Rupp and Pavel Kaderabek both went close, the latter hitting the crossbar with a header, before Süle opened the scoring and his account for the season with a bullet header.
Vedad Ibisevic tested Baumann early in the second half as Hertha came out of the blocks better, but a little overzealousness in midfield allowed Hoffenheim to seek chances on the break, and Sandro Wagner nearly converted one of those opportunities with Rune Jarstein somehow managing to divert the ball behind. Even with Salomon Kalou on as an additional striker, Hoffenheim continued to pose the greater threat with Andrej Kramaric denied from a tight angle before he wasted a glorious chance, but one goal proved enough for Hoffenheim to triumph.
Man of the Match
If at first you don't succeed: Süle could have scored his first goal of the season in the opening minutes, but he stuck at it to become the first Hoffenheim defender to score this season, ensuring it was worth victory by doing what he is paid for and defending resolutely in the second half.
With perennial UEFA Champions League participants Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen faltering, this could possibly be the best chance yet for high-flying Hoffenheim to put themselves on the European map next season.
- Süle's first Bundesliga goal in almost two years was Hoffenheim's third headed goal this season – last season they scored a total of five headed goals.Hoffenheim had more shots in the first half – 13 – than in any other half of a game this season.No player has been substituted in more times this season than Julian Schieber (eight times), and he has two goals and one assist from those appearances.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Süle, Vogt, Hübner - Kaderabek, Rudy (c), Zuber (Toljan 62') – Rupp (Szalai 84'), Demirbay (Amiri 78') - Kramaric, Wagner
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Brooks, Lustenberger, Pekarik – Skjelbred (Kalou 72'), Stark – Esswein (Schieber 57'), Allan, Haraguchi – Ibisevic (c) (Allagui 80')
Coach: Pal Dardai