Manager Holger Stanislawski went with a 4-3-3 formation. Lone striker Ryan Babel, Roberto Firmino, returning to the starting eleven, and Chinedu Obasi made up the attack. A three-man midfield consisted of Sebastian Rudy, Sejad Salihovic and Fabian Johnson. Hoffenheim were unchanged in defence with Andreas Beck, Marvin Compper, Isaac Vorsah and Edson Braafheid. Opposing manager Jürgen Klopp, despite many of his players involved in international games in midweek, remained faithful to the same eleven that were 3-1 winners over Hamburg.
Salihovic screamer puts Hoffenheim 1-0 up
In their first match in front of their fans Hoffenheim were aggressive, and the first fifteen minutes passed with the home side in the ascendancy. Robert Firmino hit the underside of the bar after just seven minutes. But a rasping free-kick from Sejad Salihovic, slammed past Roman Weidenfeller from twenty-five yards, put them in front two minutes later. This quickly prompted Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp to leave his dug-out – never had his team looked so out of sorts. After initial difficulties, however, Dortmund slowly came back into the game. Sebastian Großkreutz came close, but found Tom Starke in inspired form. And Mario Götze showed his ability by getting into the box on two occasions, but to Hoffenheim's relief his crosses didn't find a teammate.
The sides emerged unchanged for the second half. In a similar story to the first, Hoffenheim played with energy while their opponents were lakadaisical. Klopp reacted to his team's slow start by bringing on Jakub Blaszczykowski for Götze and new signing Ivan Perisic for defensive midfielder Ilkay Gündogan. The changes nearly provided instant results: a Blaszczykowski cross to the back post was met unchallenged by Perisic, but his header flew wide (59). Four minutes later Dortmund came even closer, when Perisic's header hit the crossbar, and the rebound was saved by Starke. The game seemed to be turning into a one-man show led by the Croat. Soon afterwards yet another shot from Perisic went close. All the play was happening in Hoffenheim's half, and this gave the home side the opportunity to counter. Sven Schipplock, a replacement for Firmino, came close to making it 2-0 but was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle from Felipe Santana (69). Klopp threw on his final substitution in the form of Mohammed Zidan for Shinji Kagawa (75), but it was Hoffenheim who had the next chance. Dominik Kaiser's shot was well struck and had Weidenfeller scrambling, but drifted past the far post. It was the last action in an entertaining match.