Matchday 25: End of the winless series: great relief for Matarazzo

25th matchday
End of the winless series: great relief for Matarazzo

Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric (2nd from right) scores from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 against Hertha’s goalkeeper Oliver Christensen (2nd from left). photo

© Uwe Anspach/dpa

Hoffenheim wins after a dry spell of five months and sets the long-missed mark in the relegation battle. Matarazzo can end the coaching discussion for the time being.

After the final whistle, Pellegrino Matarazzo was surrounded by everyone who hugged him, gave him high fives and slapped him on the back. In the sixth game of his still short tenure, the 45-year-old celebrated his first Bundesliga victory as coach of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with a 3-1 (2-0) win over Hertha BSC.

He may have escaped a lightning leave of absence – which of course sports director Alexander Rosen didn’t want to know about after the end of a five-month dry spell in Kraichgau.

Matarazzo: “I still have a lot to do”

“I feel good – like every player after the win, that’s completely normal,” said Matarazzo in the press conference soberly, but added: “This is far from over, I still have a lot planned. Of course it was It’s a tricky situation. The fact that the team stepped on the gas is of course good for the coach.”

Hoffenheim only won again on the 15th attempt and took Matarazzo, who according to media reports would have been in danger of a quick end if he lost, at least for the time being from the criticism. The threatening scenario gave the team another push, said playmaker Christoph Baumgartner and said, looking at the dressing room: “No player in there would have thought it okay if the coach had had to go.”

After the liberation, Rosen tried to straighten out a few things. There was definitely “no declared final game” for Matarazzo and also “no ultimatum”, emphasized the head of sports at Sky. Many things would have worked well before, “and today the result was right”.

In any case, after the important success in the duel between the two relegation candidates, TSG left the last place in the table and is now in 15th place. For the Berliners, the situation after the 25th matchday is once again more than precarious: the capital club slipped down to the relegation place and offered a disappointing performance, as head coach Sandro Schwarz admitted: “It’s not a big surprise that we’re in this region of the table. Today’s performance was frustrating.”

“TSG, TSG is back”

In front of 25,027 spectators in Sinsheim, World Cup striker Andrej Kramaric scored first with a hand (24th minute) and then with a penalty kick (37th) and Ihlas Bebou (51st) with their goals for the first victory in 2023 Won 3-0 at Schalke 04 in October. Hoffenheim striker Munas Dabbur pulled off the feat of seeing the red card just two minutes after being substituted on. He kicked substitute Dodi Lukebakio in the calf from behind (71′).

In the second minute of added time, Stevan Jovetic scored the 1:3 for the harmless Hertha, who conceded their tenth away bankruptcy this season. A few days after the presentation of the new investor 777 Partner, who brings 100 million euros with him, staying in the class is still in the balance. In keeping with the precarious situation at both clubs, the children came before kick-off from the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis youth fire brigade and wore red helmets.

In the end, the Hoffenheim fans sang happily: “TSG, TSG is back.” And manager Rosen was able to smile more freely at the camera for the first time since Matarazzo’s presentation in February. A separation from the new coach, who was on leave from VfB Stuttgart in October and only replaced André Breitenreiter in February, would also have been blamed on Rose.


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