Hoffenheim boost European hopes with Wolfsburg win

Hoffenheim improved their chances of qualifying for Europe next season as they eased past struggling Wolfsburg to make it back-to-back Bundesliga wins for the first time since September.

Hoffenheim 3-0 Wolfsburg

Goals: 1-0 Schulz (18'), 2-0 Gnabry (77'), 3-0 Guilavogui (o.g. 80')

Hoffenheim quickly took control of proceedings at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, with the in-form Andrej Kramaric testing Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels early on.  The home side duly went ahead on 18 minutes as Casteels palmed a Florian Grillitsch cross straight into the path of Nico Schulz, who swept in his first Bundesliga goal in TSG colours. Julian Nagelsmann's side then squandered a host of opportunities to double their advantage, with Serge Gnabry hitting the bar and Kramaric seeing his follow-up effort blocked by Paul Verhaegh. The visiting captain also cleared a Gnabry header off the line, and Kramaric tried his luck when he should have squared for Pavel Kaderabek as Hoffenheim somehow only went in a goal up at the interval.

Wolfsburg coach Bruno Labbadia replaced Divock Origi with Josip Brekalo before half-time, and while the latter fired over the bar less than a minute after the restart, the visitors struggled to create any real scoring chances. Hoffenheim nearly doubled up after a well-worked counter-attack, but Lukas Rupp's clever flick was just too short for Kramaric. Gnabry eventually got their long-awaited second 13 minutes from time, firing low into the corner after being teed up by substitute Mark Uth. The three points were secured minutes later when the unfortunate Josuha Guilavogui – making his 100th Bundesliga appearance for Wolfsburg – deflected Robin Knoche's clearance into his own net. While Hoffenheim are back on track, the relegation-threatened Wolves have now lost four of their last five league outings.

Match stats

    Schulz scored his first Bundesliga goal for Hoffenheim, his third in total. His two previous strikes came for Hertha Berlin against Paderborn (2-0) in April 2015 and for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Mainz (2-1) in April 2017.Hoffenheim have scored a league-high 14 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season.Nagelsmann named an unchanged starting line-up for the first time since April 2017, when Hoffenheim claimed a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich.Guilavogui made his 100th Bundesliga appearance for the Wolves.Elvis Rexhbecaj made his first professional start for Wolfsburg, having previously played just six minutes in the 1-0 win at Hannover on Matchday 20.  Nagelsmann has now overseen 33 Bundesliga wins for Hoffenheim, more than any other head coach in the club's history.


Hoffenheim: Baumann – Akpoguma, Vogt (c), Hübner – Kaderabek, Rupp, Grillitsch (Amiri 78'), Geiger (Polanski 43'), Schulz – Gnabry, Kramaric (Uth 66')
Unused subs: Stolz, Bicakcic, Zuber, Szalai
Absentees: Demirbay (knee ligaments), Posch (pelvis)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh (c), Bruma, Knoche, Rexhbecaj - Guilavogui, Bazoer – Didavi, Mehmedi, Malli (Steffen 82') – Origi (Brekalo 42', Dimata 54')
Unused subs: Grün, Arnold, Itter, Jäckel
Absentees: William (one-match ban), Brooks (knee), Blaszczykowski, Camacho, Uduokhai (all fitness), Gerhardt (ankle), Jung (thigh), Tisserand (hamstring), Osimhen (muscular)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia

As it happened

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