Hoffenheim continued their good domestic form with a convincing 1-0 victory over Freiburg at the Badanova Stadion on Bundesliga matchday 11. 1899 dominated throughout and were unlucky not to extend their lead on numerous occassions. Despite a renaissance from the home side in the second half, Ralf Ragnick's side were able to protect their one goal advantage and collect a valuable three points.
The visitors could've and probably should've been a goal up after just three minutes as the Freiburg defence instantly struggled with the pace and skill of the Hoffenheim attack. Maicosuel's through ball found Salihovic and only a sprawling save from Freiburg keeper Pouplin prevented 1899 from taking the lead.
Hoffenheim's relentlessly attacking football continued throughout the first half as the visitors created a number of chances. Only some last ditch saves from Pouplin and some inaccuracy in front of goal kept the scoreline at 0-0. That was, until the 37th minute when Hoffenheim's dominance was finally rewarded. Carlos Eduardo's pace tormented the Freiburg defence and his pass found Maicousel at the top of the box. The Brasilian's curling right foot effort found the back with the keeper only able to get finger tips to the well placed shot.
After the restart Freiburg returned with a renewed sense of purpose as the home side became more aggressive in defence and more threatening in attack. Freiburg's best chance came on 62 minutes when Mohamadou Idrissou's headed attempt crept just inches over Hildebrand's cross bar.
Hoffenheim continued to cause the Freiburg defence problems and Ibisevic could have doubled their advantage towards the end of the game, but his well struck shot was matched by another good save from Pouplin.
Three points for Hoffenheim sees Ragnick's team rise to fifth place in the league as they leap frog Bayern and Wolfsburg. Hoffenheim are now just three points behind Bayer Leverkusen in top spot and continue to pressure for a place in Europe next season.
The only criticism I had in the first half was that we weren't three or four nil up. We missed out on two penalties. In the second half it was a different game. We gave Freiburg too much room to play. All in all the first half was the best 45 minutes of football we've played all season. The results from yesterday made us even more focused on the win today.
It was a thoroughly deserved win. I only wish we'd scored the goal earlier on. Today we've proven that we can pose an attacking threat for 90 minutes.
We were totally focused from the start and we dominated the game. Of course we should've got more goals from the chances we had. But we let Freiburg back into the game by losing the ball all too often.
I'm really pleased with my goal, it was really important for the team. It mean's that we can move up the table and keep the pressure on at the top.
We've finally got a bit of momentum now and we're completely focused on challenging for top spot. But it means nothing talking about who's at the top before the winter break because we've just got to concentrate on the games coming up. Despite the injuries the lads played well and the players who are filling the gaps are playing better and better. I'm really enjoying playing with the lads at the moment.