TSG Hoffenheim have collected ten points from their last four games. Having gone 14 league games without a win before that, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team have succeeded in reversing that trend, with the 1-1 (0-1) draw away to Bayern Munich once again demonstrating the team’s strength of character. TSG’s confidence continues to grow thanks to the hard and effective work in individual duels on the pitch – and also thanks to a stroke of genius from Andrej Kramarić. “The preparation was very good, but we couldn’t get it going on the pitch,” said Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel after the 1-1 draw with TSG Hoffenheim. The fact that the league leaders were not satisfied with their performance in the home game against TSG was mainly due to the passionate and determined showing from Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team. After three wins against Hertha Berlin, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, Hoffenheim remained unbeaten for a fourth consecutive game, putting TSG into a good position for the rest of the season. With 29 points, TSG are currently 13th in the table, five points ahead of VfB Stuttgart in 16th.
TSG Hoffenheim won 57 percent of the duels against the Bundesliga’s best team in that respect (54.56% duels won) – an impressive demonstration of the team’s high-intensity playing style. “The way we are defending everything and throwing ourselves into every ball – that is showing our character at the moment,” said captain Oliver Baumann, praising his fellow players.
The point in the Allianz Arena was secured by Andrej Kramarić, who scored directly from a free kick in the 71st minute to make it 1-1, cancelling out Benjamin Pavard’s 17th-minute opener. It is the sixth time the Croatian has scored from a direct free kick in the Bundesliga. However, he was not the first player in a TSG shirt to score a free kick in Munich: Sejad Salihović also showed off his prowess as a set-piece specialist in a 3-3 draw in March 2014 and managed a total of ten free-kick goals in TSG colours in the Bundesliga.
On Saturday (kick-off: 15:30 CET, live updates on tsg-hoffenheim.de), TSG Hoffenheim face 1. FC Cologne, knowing a win will see them leapfrog the team from the Rhineland in the table. Four weeks ago, when TSG were still battling at the bottom of the table, nobody saw that coming, but TSG have proved that when you give it your all, anything is possible.