Most of the stats from TSG's game away to VfL Wolfsburg leaned slightly in Hoffenheim's favour - the visitors had more shots on goal (10-9), a higher pass completion percentage (78-75%), more possession (54-46%) and a better tackling success rate (51-49%) - only the most important metric went in VfL's favour. Wolfsburg scored one more goal - and thus earned all three points. In the words of head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo after the final whistle: "It feels like an unnecessary defeat."
But no Hoffenheim player tried to gloss over the defeat. "It was basically a decent game for us, but decent games are not enough to survive in the Bundesliga," said Grischa Prömel. While Wolfsburg scored the opening goal with their first shot on target, TSG rarely found themselves with a decent sight on goal. Munas Dabbur had the best chance in the 57th minute when he was quick on his feet and snatched the ball from Wolfsburg captain Maximilian Arnold, only to then miss the target when one-on-one with goalkeeper Koen Casteels. VfL remained efficient, as Luca Waldschmidt scored the second goal of the match shortly after coming on as a substitute in the 75th minute. TSG's goal in the third minute of injury time, when Josuha Guilavogui inadvertently sent a cross from Tom Bischof past his own goalkeeper, arrived too late to change the result, but could still prove important in terms of goal difference.
A win in Wolfsburg would not have given TSG any mathematical safety, but it would nonetheless have eased the stress of the relegation battle. TSG are still above the drop zone, with a two-point gap between them and Schalke in the relegation play-off place (16th), while 17th-placed VfB Stuttgart are three points behind Hoffenheim. In the home match against Union Berlin on Saturday (15:30 CET/liveticker on tsg-hoffenheim.de), a "decent" performance must turn into a "very good" one in order to take a big step closer to safety.