TSG Hoffenheim could have been the big winners of the round in terms of the relegation battle. No club from the bottom third of the table picked up three points at the weekend. But TSG slipped to a 3-1 defeat against 1. FC Cologne and missed a big opportunity in their quest to stay up. Very much to the disappointment of Christoph Baumgartner: “We played with too little power, especially in the first half. That’s what has set us apart in recent weeks, you always had the feeling that we wanted to win more. We didn’t have that energy. We could have taken a big step forward; now it feels like a big step backwards. There wasn’t a player on the pitch who produced his best performance. And that annoys me. We all need to look in the mirror and admit to ourselves: that was way too little.”
In the first half in particular, TSG created hardly any scoring opportunities and did not find any solutions in the final third. Instead, Cologne were the more determined team and took in a totally deserved 2-0 lead at the break. The picture changed at the start of the second half and TSG took control. But the ball would not go into the net. Probably the biggest opportunity was spurned by Andrej Kramarić, whose shot from close range was blocked by Eric Martel with Marvin Schwäbe already beaten.
In addition, Saturday’s result marked the end of several runs. It was Hoffenheim’s first defeat after a four-game unbeaten streak on the one hand and their first loss to Cologne in the Bundesliga in eight years on the other. But there was a silver lining: Kasper Dolberg scored his first Bundesliga goal in the defeat.
There will be an opportunity to start a new run in Leipzig on Saturday and pick up more points in the relegation battle – and bring another run to an end: after six competitive games in Leipzig without a win, it is high time for another triumph in Saxony.