At the 15th attempt, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim won the Bundesliga again and took their new coach Pellegrino Matarazzo out of the criticism, at least for the time being. The Kraichgauer prevailed on Saturday in the duel of the relegation candidates against Hertha BSC with 3:1 (2:0). With that, they left the last place in the table and jumped to 15th place. For the Berliners, the situation after the 25th matchday is once again more than precarious: The capital club slipped to the relegation place and offered a disappointing performance.
In front of 25,027 spectators, the recently spurned World Cup striker Andrej Kramaric first scored a hand penalty (24th minute) and then a foul penalty (37th) and Ihlas Bebou (51st) with their goals for the first victory in Matarazzo's tenure after five defeats. TSG last won 14-3 at Schalke 0 on 04 October. At the same time, it was the first threesome this year.
Hoffenheim striker Munas Dabbur managed the feat of seeing the red card just two minutes after coming on as a substitute. He had kicked the substitute Dodi Lukebakio from behind in the calf (71.). Stevan Jovetic scored in the second minute of injury time to make it 1-3.
Hertha hardly with offensive actions at the beginning
Hertha conceded the tenth away defeat this season. A few days after the presentation of the new investor 777 Partner, who brings 100 million euros, the class remains on the brink. In keeping with the precarious situation at both clubs, the Einlauf-children came before the kick-off from the youth fire brigade Rhein-Neckar-Kreis and wore red helmets.
Matarazzo was able to rely again on the recently injured defensive boss Kevin Vogt and on playmaker Christoph Baumgartner after serving a yellow card. The Croatian Kramaric, who was not allowed to play a minute in the defeat in Freiburg, was also in the starting eleven this time – and right in the spotlight. The 31-year-old put Pavel Kaderabek in a promising shooting position after a few minutes. The Czech manoeuvred the ball past the goal. Kramaric himself forgave after a long and precise ball from Vogt when he shot at the strong Hertha goalkeeper Oliver Christensen.
Shortly afterwards, Tolga Cigerci had both arms up in a dogfight, the header of former Herthaner John Brooks jumped to his hand. Kramaric converted the penalty with a chip in the middle of the goal to make it 1-0. When Filip Uremovic outlined TSG attacker Ihlas Bebou, referee Frank Willenborg whistled another penalty. This time Kramaric sunk the leather in the right corner.
Berlin coach Sandro Schwarz missed the preparation because of a gastrointestinal infection, but stood on the sidelines in the Sinsheim stadium. The 44-year-old had to do without Marc Oliver Kempf (hip injury) and Marton Dardai (muscular problems) at short notice. His team hardly got into offensive action throughout the first half.
Shortly after the restart, Hertha stormily demanded penalties: Robert Skov had jumped the leather after a header from Lukebakio on the hand. But Willenborg only gave a corner. Bebou then duped the Berlin defence and marked the 3:0 with a flat shot. Even after that, Hertha gave their travelling fans no reason to hope that there was still something to be gained on this day, even if Jovetic shortened to 1:3. The Hoffenheim fans sang devotedly delightedly: "TSG, TSG is back."