Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann celebrated two years in charge of the club with the pulsating 4-2 victory at home to Mainz on Saturday.
Hoffenheim 4-2 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Szalai (27'), 1-1 Berggreen (28'), 2-1 Kramaric (67'), 3-1 Szalai (74'), 3-2 Berggreen (84'), 4-2 Kramaric (88')
Following Mainz's sub-par showing in the DFB Cup quarter-finals against Eintracht Frankfurt in mid-week, there was far greater urgency in the visitors' play here as they looked to make amends. Yoshinori Muto headed over early on when he probably should have hit the target, but it was Hoffenheim who broke the deadlock when Adam Szalai prodded them in front following good work by Serge Gnabry. The lead was short-lived, however, as Emil Berggreen headed Mainz level 99 seconds later when Oliver Baumann failed to punch clear a free-kick. It remained evenly-balanced before half-time, with an effort from Szalai that hit the crossbar the closest either side came to scoring again.
Nagelsmann cut an animated figure on the touchline as he urged his side on after the interval, eager to end the winless run on his anniversary weekend. His cajoling had the desired effect as his charges took control of the game. Andrej Kramaric bundled the ball over the line after Mainz struggled to clear a free-kick, before Szalai expertly drilled in his second of the game to seemingly kill the game off. There were more twists to come, however, as Berggreen scored again late on to spark a tense finale before Kramaric's stunning long-range drive sealed Hoffenheim's first Bundesliga win since mid-December.
- Szalai has scored both his goals this season in the last three games, and has also found the net four times in his last four outings against Mainz. Berggreen has now scored three Bundesliga goals, all of which have come away from home. Kramaric scored for the second game in succession, having not found the net at all in his previous 23 outings. Nagelsmann celebrates two years in charge at Hoffenheim the day after the game. He’s unbeaten as a boss against Mainz (W4, D1).The 05ers have lost three league matches in a row for the first time under Sandro Schwarz.Mainz are without a win in 17 on the road, which is currently a club record. They’ve lost their last four visits to Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Akpoguma, Vogt (c), Hübner – Grillitsch, Geiger, Schulz (Kaderabek 68') – Kramaric, Amiri (Uth 64'), Gnabry (Bicakcic 84') – Szalai
Unused subs: Stolz, Polanski, Zuber, Zulj
Absentees: Demirbay (knee and ankle), Rupp (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Mainz: Zentner – Balogun, Hack (Quaison 73'), Diallo – Donati, De Jong (de Blasis 78'), Gbamin, Latza (Serdar 56'), Brosinski – Berggreen, Muto
Unused subs: Müller, Bell, Ujah, Onisiwo
Absentees: Bungert (gluteal muscle), Öztunali (ankle)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz