Pellegrino Matarazzo’s debut as TSG Hoffenheim’s new coach failed. The Kraichgau lost 1:3 (0:1) against Bayer Leverkusen.
Pellegrino Matarazzo stomped across the pitch with his hands in his pockets after the final whistle. He seemed to know he had a lot of work to do over the next few weeks to quell the specter of relegation.
Many fans of TSG Hoffenheim quickly fled after the new coach’s botched debut, a few needed to talk to the pros – Matarazzo observed this from a distance. In the end there were even cheers for the crisis-ridden Hoffenheim team.
In any case, Matarazzo’s team had no chance in the 1: 3 (0: 1) against Bayer Leverkusen. In his premiere game, Andre Breitenreiter’s successor couldn’t knock the buck over at the Kraichgauers, and the descent continues. “The first 60 minutes were bad. We have to be more honest with ourselves. We have to be more attentive,” commented newcomer Thomas Delaney.
Robert Andrich (6th), Moussa Diaby (47th) and Adam Hlozek (56th) scored for Leverkusen, who after two defeats in a row scored again. Things are very different at TSG. Hoffenheim have been waiting for a win for eleven competitive games and have only scored two points in the past ten league games. Stanley Nsoki only managed the goal of honor (77th).
Leverkusen uses the first chance to lead
The game was marked by the Matarazzo premiere. The 45-year-old, who had to leave TSG local rivals VfB Stuttgart last October, was installed on Wednesday as the successor to the sacked Breitenreiter. The coach received a contract until June 2025 with the club from majority owner Dietmar Hopp.
In front of only 20,619 spectators, Hoffenheim played with commitment, but Leverkusen were the better team in the early stages. Andrich used the first chance to take the lead after preliminary work by Florian Wirtz.
The hosts, who had to do without Kevin Vogt, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Pavel Kaderabek, Grischa Prömel and Robert Skov, hardly managed anything after falling behind. Bayer had the game under control. Jeremie Frimpong could have extended the lead (23′) and shortly afterwards even had to (26′).
At the start of the second half, Matarazzo brought in an additional striker in Kasper Dolberg for defensive midfielder Dennis Geiger. The move promptly backfired. After preliminary work from Frimpong, Diaby scored for Leverkusen.
The guests, who were missing the sick striker Patrik Schick, Charles Aranguiz and Andrey Lunew, kept pushing after the goal. The third goal for the superior Leverkusen seemed to be only a matter of time – even if Kevin Akpoguma had the best TSG chance to date (53′).
Hlozek did better on the other side after Frimpong’s preliminary work. As was the case recently, the Hoffenheim fans vented their displeasure and demanded more effort from the pros.
TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen: The data for the game
Pellegrino Matarazzo (TSG Hoffenheim coach): “We didn’t start the game well. We were very cautious, you could feel the handbrake. That’s not our claim. It only got better from the 60th, 65th minute. We can build on that.”
Xabi Alonso (Bayer Leverkusen manager): “We’re happy this time after two defeats before. We needed a good performance. And the performance was very good. We controlled everything well until the 75th minute.”