November 25, 2012
TSG Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Hoffenheim's plight worsened as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Bayer Leverkusen to remain inside the bottom three of the Bundesliga.
Lars Bender put Leverkusen in front and Daniel Ramos Carvajal made it two before the break.
Hoffenheim responded in the second half as Fabian Johnson brought them back into the game, but they were unable to find an equaliser as their worst-ever start to a Bundesliga season continued.
Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel is beginning to get used to a relegation battle as opposed to a push for Europe, and that sentiment strengthened after 15 minutes.
Bender tucked the ball in after Hoffenheim failed to clear their lines from a free-kick and Simon Rolfes had both the vision and the composure to set up his team-mate and resist the temptation to shoot himself.
Koen Casteels, in the Hoffenheim goal for the injured Tim Wiese, bravely intervened to deny Andre Schurrle the chance to make it two in the 22nd minute as the Hoffenheim defence was all at sea.
Only Firmino was able to provide any flashes of danger at the other end, but even his tricky dribbles ended up down a dark alley of Leverkusen defenders.
Carvajal doubled Leverkusen's lead in the 38th minute just as Hoffenheim were beginning to get a foothold in the game.
He played a neat one-two with Schurrle before skipping past Casteels and dispatching the ball into the unguarded net just before losing his balance.
Exactly what Babbel told his team at half time will remain a secret, but there was no hiding the reaction it caused.
They were rewarded on the hour mark when Johnson brought them back into the game, his shot taking a telling deflection off Kevin Volland on its way past Bernd Leno.
Sven Schipplock missed a hat-trick of chances late on as Hoffenheim failed to find an equaliser.
|TSG Hoffenheim||Bayer Leverkusen|
|30 Koen Casteels||1 Bernd Leno|
|5 Marvin Compper||21 Ömer Toprak|
|15 Matthieu Delpierre||4 Philipp Wollscheid|
|16 Fabian Johnson||14 Hajime Hosogai|
|2 Andreas Beck||20 Daniel Carvajal|
|23 Sejad Salihovic||3 Stefan Reinartz|
|6 Sebastian Rudy||6 Simon Rolfes|
|18 Joselu||8 Lars Bender|
|31 Kevin Volland||9 Andre Schürrle|
|32 Vicenzo Grifo||11 Stefan Kießling|
|22 Roberto Firmino||27 Gonzalo Castro|
|11 Eren Derdiyok||Michael Rensing 33|
|9 Sven Schipplock||Sebastian Boenisch 17|
|40 Stephan Schröck||Manuel Friedrich 5|
|19 Jens Grahl||Jens Hegeler 13|
|33 Takashi Usami||Okan Aydin 19|
|13 Daniel Williams||Dominik Kohr 31|
|34 Denis Streker||Junior Fernandes 7|
|Eren Derdiyok for Vicenzo Grifo (45)||Jens Hegeler for Gonzalo Castro (68)|
|Sven Schipplock for Joselu (45)||Dominik Kohr for Andre Schürrle (81)|
|Takashi Usami for Fabian Johnson (83)||Manuel Friedrich for Stefan Kießling (90)|
|Matthieu Delpierre (9)||Ömer Toprak (40)|
|Stefan Reinartz (78)|
|· Squads: TSG Hoffenheim | Bayer Leverkusen|