TSG Hoffenheim: Bebou & Co. inflict second defeat of the season on Cologne

TSG remains feared opponent

Even under coach Steffen Baumgart, 1. FC Köln simply cannot win against feared opponents TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The Rhinelander lost 0: 5 (0: 1) in the Friday evening game of the Bundesliga in Sinsheim – it was the seventh consecutive defeat for FC against the Kraichgauer. At the same time, a series of five unbeaten games ended for the Baumgart team in front of 14,309 spectators. Ihlas Bebou (31st / 49th minute), Christoph Baumgartner (51st), Dennis Geiger (74th) and Stefan Posch (87th) scored for the superior Hoffenheim team. TSG couldn’t quite get to the highest victory in their Bundesliga history: It was 6-0 on March 31, 2018 – against Cologne.

© tm / imago images - 7th Bundesliga matchday: grade the players here!  (Grades 1 to 6, Leroy Sané from FC Bayern and Erling Haaland from BVB shown - link to submit grades)

Once again, TSG poured a lot for the people from Cologne, who came out of the break quite disoriented. FC celebrated their last Bundesliga win (3-2) against Hoffenheim in April 2015 at home, after which there were eleven unsuccessful attempts. With their third win of the season, Hoffenheim improved to eighth place in the table, one point behind Cologne. While Baumgart also missed the first away win of this season with Cologne, his colleague Sebastian Hoeneß was able to breathe a sigh of relief after the highest victory under his direction. The 39-year-old came under pressure again after the 3-1-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart. In addition, patron Dietmar Hopp had announced that he expected TSG “permanently” on the European Cup. “We want to go back there without calling it out now as a must,” said sports director Alexander Rosen before kick-off in the DAZN interview.

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Like Europa League contenders, both teams did not necessarily appear on matchday eight. Rafael Czichos made the first big excitement that made the active Baumgart freeze on the sidelines with a capital back pass from the left. The ball landed as a perfect cross at the free-standing Andrej Kramaric (8th), but keeper Timo Horn blocked his shot brilliantly. Czichos replaced Jonas Hector as captain, the ex-national player had signed off sick. Injured midfielder Ellyes Skhiri, who scored three of his team’s last four goals, was also sorely missed.

In the next curious scene, Hoffenheim’s Baumgartner was the victim: Jorge Meré hit the Austrian national player with the ball full in the face in a liberation blow. The 22-year-old struggled again and tried to bring structure to his team’s attack. Andrej Kramaric once again proved to be the preparer par excellence for TSG. The Croatian World Cup runner-up from 2018 tore the Cologne defense open with a flat pass, Bebou let Horn run into the void and pushed in to make it 1-0.

Up to this point, the guests had played well, but could not prevail against the newly formed central defense of TSG. Hoeneß had relegated veteran Kevin Vogt to the bench for the first time this season, as did the young Chris Richards. Kevin Akpoguma and Stefan Posch took care of the largely ineffective FC attackers Anthony Modeste and Sebastian Andersson.

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A double strike immediately after the break left the Cologne team in consternation: Bebou with the hoe against a disordered FC defense and Baumgartner also from a short distance scored goals number two and three against a visiting team that rarely reminded of their strong start to the season.

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