VfB Stuttgart 5-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Five-star Swabians put visitors to the sword

It was routine from start to finish for the home side.

VfB Stuttgart 5-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Five-star Swabians put visitors to the sword
Image credit: kicker
VfB Stuttgart
5 1
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
VfB Stuttgart: (4-1-4-1) Tyton; Großkreutz, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Insua; Serey Sie; Rupp, Didavi (Maxim 81'), Gentner (Klein 46'), Kostic; Kravets (Werner 68').
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: (4-2-3-1) Baumann; Kaderabeck; Schär, Süle, Toljan; Polanski, Bicakcic (Kramaric 35'); Hamad (Vargas 46'), Amiri, Volland; Uth (Schmid 46').
SCORE: 1-0, Niedermeier 5'. 2-0, Rupp 42'. 3-0, Niedermeier 51'. 3-1, Kramaric 73'. 4-1, Kostic 78'. 5-1, Werner 83'.
REFEREE: Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle). Booked: Kravets (14'), Süle (60'), Polanski (80').

VfB Stuttgart earned a superb win over Hoffenheim on Saturday, putting further distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

Georg Niedermeier and Lukas Rupp gave them a 2-0 half-time lead, before Niedermeier grabbed his brace.

Andrej Kramaric issued a reply, but Filip Kostic and Timo Werner sealed the win.

Niedermeier and Rupp give the home side the lead

Things began badly for the visitors, who found themselves behind inside the opening five minutes. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area but straight to Lukas Rupp, who thundered the ball back towards goal. Oliver Baumann, who is the only player who has performed to any real level this season, fumbled the shot and Georg Niedermeier slid home the rebound to send the hosts ahead.

Stuttgart continued to pile on the pressure, as Hoffenheim struggled to find any sort of rhythm; their defence, like the attack, had fallen foul to their opponents' lightning-quick start. Filip Kostic was beginning to force himself on the game as he found Artem Kravets, though he was crowded out and unable to shoot.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were up against it with the Swabians' attacking quality, and Fabian Schär's short back-pass gave Daniel Didavi an opportunity he wasn't originally expecting. He managed to square the ball to Rupp, but the former Paderborn man couldn't provide the finish. This came just moments after Didavi drifted through on goal again, only for Baumann to produce a fine save.

It seemed like a matter of time before Stuttgart would finally get their second, and it came just prior the break. Another wonderful breakaway saw Kostic burst down the left before crossing to Rupp at the back post. He controlled well before sending a strong shot across goal and out of Baumann's reach. Hoffenheim seemed to come alive at the end of the half but couldn't make a short period of pressure count.

It was a day to forget for Nagelsmann and his side. | Image source: kicker
It was a day to forget for Nagelsmann and his side. | Image source: kicker

Stuttgart's scoring continues

Both sides made alterations at the break, as Stuttgart called upon Florian Klein to replace Christian Gentner and Nagelsmann took off Jiloan Hamad and Mark Uth for Eduardo Vargas and Jonathan Schmid. It looked to have brought an immediate impact as Andrej Kramaric's shot was blocked bravely by the home defence from close range.

That would all change, however, as Jürgen Kramny's men went further ahead. Just moments after helping keep Hoffenheim at bay in front of his own goal, Niedermeier rose highest to power home from Kostic's corner. The Sinsheim side's boss was far from pleased, having watched his team concede another sloppy goal.

Hoffenheim, to their credit, did start to come back into the game after that, though they struggled to create a real, clear-cut chance. Kramaric sent a shot just wide from the edge of the area, while Kevin Volland volleyed past the post from a similar range. Stuttgart were content, and rightly so, with their lead but the visitors would make them pay. Kramaric worked some space in the area before rifling a stunning shot in at the near post to give the traveling support something to take out of the game.

Any hope wouldn't last long, and Stuttgart put the game to bed - finally - with 10 minutes to play. A superb run by Kostic saw him beat the Hoffenheim defence and leave them for dead, which allowed the winger to steady himself before curling past Baumann in style; a deserved goal for the Serb. Timo Werner would add a fifth with a tap-in, after Daniel Schwaab's excellent cross, to round-off the scoring and continue VfB's good form. Hoffenheim, however, will have to pick up the pieces.