TSG manager Julian Nagelsmann selected the following players to start the game against Genoa: Oliver Baumann, Kevin Vogt, Benjamin Hübner, Ermin Bicakcic, Pavel Kaderabek, Stevan Zuber, Eugen Polanski, Lukas Rupp, Marco Terrazzino, Mark Uth, and Adam Szalai. They lined up in the 3-5-2 formation, as they did last year. Hübner, Bicakcic, and Vogt formed the back three, whilst Zuber and Kaderabek operated on the flanks. Polanski played as the lone defensive-midfielder behind Rupp and Terrazzino in centre midfield. Uth and Szalai were Nagelsmann’s strike partnership of choice.
TSG had the first big chance of the game four minutes in, when Mark Uth fired the ball into the box for a corner, from which Ermin Bicakcic managed to put the ball past Perin, who was in net for Genoa, to give Hoffenheim an early 1-0 lead.
Genoa strike twice
Nikola Ninkovic had his shot parried by Baumann (11’), whilst at the other end Marco Terrazzino saw his shot go over the bar from short range (12’). TSG were in control of the game, enjoyed more possession, and looked more dangerous in front of goal, but 25 minutes in TSG were punished for losing possession of the ball with a wonder-strike from Ninkovic from 18 metres out – Oliver Baumann was left with no chance (25’) – but things got worse as he had to pick the ball out of his own net again just three minutes later. Miguel Veloso put the ball out of Baumann’s reach in the corner from 19 metres out – another beautiful strike that meant Genoa led 2-1.
Nagelsmann makes nine changes
Steven Zuber had the first chance after the break, but the Swiss left-wing-back couldn’t hit the target from 22 metres out. Nagelsmann had by this point brought in Havard Nordtveit and Justin Hoogma in place of Bickacic and Hübner at the back.
TSG could have made it 2-2 in the 60th minute but Lukas Rupp couldn’t make anything of it. That signaled a change at nine positions for Nagelsmann, who brought Ermin Bickakcic back on, along with Gregor Kobel, Robin Hack, Nico Schulz, Philipp Ochs, Robert Zulj, Meris Skenderovic, Stefan Posch, and Serge Gnabry. The Germany international celebrated his first appearance in TSG colours – and two minutes later he crossed in for Hoogma to equalise with a header (62’). Genoa too changed up their squad almost entirely – but the game itself didn’t change much. TSG were the dominant team in search of their third goal.
However, it was Genoa that made the breakthrough, with substitute Galabinov firing the ball from 19 metres out for yet another amazing Genoa goal that was placed precisely in the corner to give TSG’s goalkeeper no chance – this time it was Gregor Kobel in net. Hoffenheim had six minutes plus stoppage time to find an answer, but were unable to do so, resulting in FC Genoa winning the game 3-2.