Hof­fen­heim rise to third place after Hertha Ber­lin vic­tory

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Fabian Lusten­berger came to Hertha's res­cue early on, clear­ing Süle's header off the line from an early cor­ner.

At the other end, an ex­cel­lent save from Oliver Bau­mann turned Al­lan's shot from the edge of the penalty area wide with chances be­ing cre­ated at both ends.

Lukas Rupp and Pavel Kader­abek both went close, the lat­ter hit­ting the cross­bar with a header, be­fore Süle opened the scor­ing and his ac­count for the sea­son with a bul­let header.

Vedad Ibi­se­vic tested Bau­mann early in the sec­ond half as Hertha came out of the blocks bet­ter, but a lit­tle overzeal­ous­ness in mid­field al­lowed Hof­fen­heim to seek chances on the break, and Sandro Wag­ner nearly con­verted one of those op­por­tu­ni­ties with Rune Jarstein some­how man­ag­ing to di­vert the ball be­hind.

Even with Salomon Kalou on as an ad­di­tional striker, Hof­fen­heim con­tin­ued to pose the greater threat with An­drej Kra­maric de­nied from a tight an­gle be­fore he wasted a glo­ri­ous chance, but one goal proved enough for Hof­fen­heim to tri­umph.

Süle could have scored his first goal of the sea­son in the open­ing min­utes, but he stuck at it to be­come the first Hof­fen­heim de­fender to score this sea­son, en­sur­ing it was worth vic­tory by do­ing what he is paid for and de­fend­ing res­o­lutely in the sec­ond half.

Süle's first Bun­desliga goal in al­most two years was Hof­fen­heim's third headed goal this sea­son – last sea­son they scored a to­tal of five headed goals.

With peren­nial UEFA Cham­pi­ons League par­tic­i­pants Borus­sia Dort­mund, FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Lev­erkusen fal­ter­ing, this could pos­si­bly be the best chance yet for high-fly­ing Hof­fen­heim to put them­selves on the Euro­pean map next sea­son.

No player has been sub­sti­tuted in more times this sea­son than Ju­lian Schieber (eight times).

GER­MANY Bun­desliga

Yes­ter­day Hof­fen­heim-Hertha Ber­lin ............... 1-0 1. FC Koln-Hamburger SV ................. 3-0

Stand­ings

Bay­ern Mu­nich RB Leipzig Hof­fen­heim 1. FC Koln Hertha Ber­lin Dort­mund E. Frank­furt Freiburg Mainz B. Lev­erkusen B. M’glad­bach Schalke Augsburg Darm­stadt Werder Bre­men Wolfs­burg In­gol­stadt Hamburger SV 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 7 6 5 5 5 4 4 5 4 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 0 0 2 3 4 3 2 3 3 0 2 1 3 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 0 23 5 0 17 6 0 17 10 1 16 6 2 14 10 2 20 10 2 13 8 4 13 13 3 16 15 4 13 13 3 10 12 5 10 11 5 8 14 5 8 17 6 11 24 5 6 13 7 7 19 7 2 18 23 21 19 18 17 15 15 15 14 13 12 8 8 8 7 6 2 2

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