Mirko Slomka's Karlsruher SC beat his former club, Hannover 96 2-0 as the Blue-Whites dominated the visitors throughout the match. The Reds dropped important points in the promotion battle while Karlsruhe improved on their horrible performance from last Monday in St. Pauli.
KSC head coach Slomka made two changes from last week's 5-0 defeat at St. Pauli. Moritz Stoppelkamp and Hiroki Yamada were benched and replaced by Franck Kom and Enrico Valentini.
Daniel Stendel changed his starting eleven in four positions from their last game against Arminia Bielefeld. Oliver Sorg, Waldemar Anton, Noah Joel Sarenren-Bazee and Uffe Bech replaced Salif Sané (suspended), Felix Klaus (flu), Fynn Arkenberg and Iver Fossum (both on the bench).
Perfect start for Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe were up for redemption following their disappointing game in Hamburg last Monday. Mentality shall beat quality said Slomka, and the hosts' mentality was definitely better. It was a very aggressive beginning by both teams, accompanied by many fouls in the opening minutes. However, Karlsruhe had the better start.
Benedikt Gimber hit a long pass into the visitors' half, where Florian Hübner completely missed the ball when attempting to clear. Stefan Mugosa latched onto the ball and managed to round Phillipp Tschauner, who struck into the open net.
KSC remained compact at the back and very creative up front. A great combination of passes found Dimitrios Diamantakos one-on-one with Tschauner, who managed to save the Greek's effort with his leg. Hannover couldn't find a way into the match in the opening 20 minutes.
Following Diamantakos' attempt, KSC were complaining to Patrick Alt as a cross by Valentini was clearly handled by Bech, though no penalty was given for the Blue-Whites.
Orlishausen keeps KSC ahead
It took Hannover 33 minutes to register their first effort. Dirk Orlishausen made a spectacular goal-line save as Anton's header nearly found a way in, following a corner.
Just before half-time, Hannover again had a huge opportunity to make it level as Martin Harnik went through on Orlishausen, who was able to save his team once again with a tremendous save. A quick counter saw Mugosa in a similar position to Harnik, though his effort was brilliantly blocked by Manuel Schmiedebach to keep his side in the game.
Big points for Karlsruhe, Hannover dissappointing
The second half continued on from where the game left off. Stendel had to react and brought on Fossum and Niclas Füllkrug during the second half. Though, it didn't help the visitors as Karlsruhe's own substitute, Erwin Hoffer caused more trouble in the Hannover defence. The Austrian was then brought down in the area by Miiko Albernoz, where Diamantakos doubled the lead from the spot.
Harnik could have started a late comeback as a pass from Kenan Karaman played in the former VfB Stuttgart player, though he failed to finish. KSC could have won with an even higher margin of victory as Marvin Bakalorz blocked a Diamantakos effort in the 77th minute, followed by an attempt from Kom which didn't trouble Tschauner.
Karlsruhe travel to Erzgebirge Aue next Friday evening in another relegation battle, whereas Hannover 96 host 1860 Munich on Saturday afternoon.