Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bundesliga wrap: Hoffenheim on the board, Stuttgart fight back

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 23 Sep 2012

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Hoffenheim claimed their first points of the season after overcoming an in-form Hannover 3-1 at Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Sunday.

Having conceded 11 goals in their opening three Bundesliga games, Hoffenheim needed to improve defensively if they were any chance of success but they found themselves a goal down after 26 minutes.

Hannover capitalised on an unfortunate bit of play when French defender Matthieu Delpierre sent the ball past his own goalkeeper Koen Casteels.

However, Markus Babbel’s troops equalised almost immediately through Fabian Johnson.

Both teams seemed destined to share the points before Bosnian Sejad Salihovic found the back of the net with eight minutes left on the clock.

And Daniel Williams made sure of all three points with his effort deep into stoppage time.

The win sees Hoffenheim move out of the automatic relegation places into 16th, while Hannover remains in third position, five points behind Frankfurt and Bayern Munich.

In other results on Sunday, Stuttgart staged a second-half comeback to salvage a 2-2 draw in their match against Werder Bremen, which saw both teams end the game with 10 men.

Kevin de Bruyne, on loan from Chelsea, broke the deadlock after 23 minutes with a clinical finish before Zlatko Junuzovic doubled his side’s advantage 11 minutes later.

Martin Harnick Harnick sparked the visitors’ comeback with a 50th-minute header.

And Brazilian-born German international Cacau completed Stuttgart’s fightback nine minutes from time.

But the match ended on unsavoury terms when goalscorer Harnick was shown his second yellow card on 87 minutes before Assani Lukimya received his marching orders two minutes later.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Moenchengladbach shared the spoils after a 1-1 draw.

Gladbach have made a stuttering start to this campaign after a tremendous fourth-placed finish last season but they began extremely brightly on Sunday.

With just three minutes played Lucien Favre’s men opened the scoring through Patrick Hermann as the winger controlled Juan Arango’s fantastic pass before stabbing into the net.

Leverkusen were level just nine minutes later though as Czech left-back Michal Kadlec thumped in a powerful cross-goal effort that offered Marc-Andre Ter Stegen no chance.

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