Ishak Belfodil bagged a brace as Hoffenheim ruthlessly cut apart 10-man southern neighbours Stuttgart to make it back-to-back wins in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim 4-0 Stuttgart
Goals: 1-0 Brenet (48’), 2-0 Joelinton (51’), 3-0 Belfodil (57’) 4-0 Belfodil (60’)
Red card: Insua (8’)
Stuttgart almost made a flying start but Mario Gomez shot wide when sent clear on goal. Shortly afterwards the visitors were reduced to 10 men when left-wing back Emiliano Insua was sent off - following a video review - for a high tackle on Pavel Kaderabek. Nicolas Gonzalez flicked a header wide soon after, but Belfodil went agonisingly close midway through the half when he curled a shot against the upright. Argentine striker Gonzalez then clipped the post with another headed opportunity as Stuttgart continued to threaten. Hoffenheim started to make their man advantage count closer to the break, however, and the visitors had to scramble to deny Joshua Brenet and Andrej Kramaric, while Reiss Nelson also missed a chance.
In-form English teenager Nelson would make a decisive impact after half-time, though, brilliantly jinking past three players inside the penalty box only to see his effort on goal saved by Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler. Brenet was on hand to slot home the rebound, though, and two minutes later he set up Joelinton for a tap-in. Belfodil played a one-two with Joelinton to get in for Hoffenheim’s third, and the Algerian forward was merciless when punishing a defensive error to complete a four-goal salvo from Hoffenheim in 12 minutes. It could even have got worse for Stuttgart, who now have an identical record to Fortuna Düsseldorf at the bottom of the table.
WATCH: Gomez insists Stuttgart will turn the corner
- Hoffenheim won at home for the first time in six games in all competitions.Joelinton scored a late equaliser in Hoffenheim’s 3-3 UEFA Champions League draw with Lyon on Tuesday. The Brazilian now has six goals in all competitions this season. Nelson has made five Bundesliga appearances so far this season, scoring four goals. Stuttgart have kept just one clean sheet in 2018/19, conceding 11 goals in their current run of three defeats in a row. Only promoted Düsseldorf have shipped as many goals overall (21). Stuttgart’s leading scorer this season with three goals, Gomez has netted 12 times in 15 career games against Hoffenheim. Visiting boss Markus Weinzierl has lost his first two matches in charge of the 2007 Bundesliga champions. He has also lost his first match in charge of all three clubs he has coached in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Brenet, Vogt (c), Bicakcic – Kaderabek (Nordtveit 62’), Grillitsch (Demirbay 40’), Zuber, Nelson – Joelinton, Belfodil, Kramaric (Grifo 61’)
Unused subs: Kobel, Schulz, Akpoguma, Szalai
Absentees: Hübner, Amiri, Geiger, Rupp (all match fitness)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Stuttgart: Zieler – Maffeo (Beck 76’), Baumgartl, Pavard, Insua – Gentner (c), Ascacibar, Badstuber – Thommy, Gomez (Sarpei 56’), Gonzalez
Unused subs: Grahl, Castro, Akolo, Kopacz, Özcan
Absentees: Meyer, Kliment (both knee), Kempf, Donis (both thigh), Sosa (pelvis), Didavi (Achilles)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl