Personnel & tactics:
Head coach Alfred Schreuder made two changes to the starting XI that held VfL Wolfsburg to a 1-1 draw last time out. Kevin Vogt missed out with a thigh injury and was replaced by Kevin Akpoguma, who played alongside Stefan Posch and Benjamin Hübner in a back three in front of goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Florian Grillitsch, Dennis Geiger and Sebastian Rudy kept their places in the three-man midfield, while Robert Skov (left) and Pavel Kadeřábek (right) continued in the wing-back berths. The strike partnership consisted of Ihlas Bebou and Christoph Baumgartner, who replaced Ishak Belfodil. The Algerian has been suffering from tonsillitis.
Schreuder shuffled his pack for the first time in the 51st minute, as Sargis Adamyan came on for Baumgartner. TSG switched to a back four after going 2-0 behind. Jürgen Locadia was introduced as an additional striker in place of Posch in the 68th minute, with the final change coming as Lukas Rupp replaced Geiger 11 minutes later.
Moment of the match:
The 54th minute: referee Harm Osmers initially awarded TSG a penalty for handball and then overturned his decision after consulting VAR. It would have been a massive opportunity to level the score at 1-1.
Number of the game: 1
Sargis Adamyan was making his first competitive appearance at the PreZero Arena. The striker came off the bench to replace Christoph Baumgartner in the 51st minute.
TSG Hoffenheim: Baumann – Posch (Locadia, 68), Akpoguma, Hübner – Kadeřábek, Grillitsch, Geiger (Rupp, 79), Rudy, Skov – Bebou, Baumgartner (Adamyan, 51)
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Sommer – Lainer (Jantschke, 88), Elvedi, Ginter, Wendt – Zakaria – Neuhaus (Raffael, 86), Kramer – Embolo – Thuram (Herrmann, 78), Plea
Goals: 0-1 Plea (43), 0-2 Thuram (65), 0-3 Neuhaus (83)
What a chance! Skov gets the better of several opponents down the left and cuts the ball back into the path of Posch. His shot is parried into the danger zone by Sommer, but Baumgartner fails to take full advantage.
Brilliant cross by Kadeřábek on the right flank. Baumgartner times his run to perfection but blazes over the bar from eight metres out.
Lainer luckily beats Skov down the Hoffenheim left and then plays the ball into the box, where Thuram outmanoeuvres Akpoguma before squaring to Plea. The striker is left with a simple tap-in from close range.
Gladbach almost double their lead when Embolo gets a free header on a corner, but it sails narrowly wide of the upright. TSG were lucky there.
Skov works his way down the left flank once more and centres the ball, but Kadeřábek can only head over from a promising position.
Posch allows a cross to slip through and Embolo is gifted an opportunity to make it 2-0. But he misses from close range.
Hoffenheim are dispossessed and Gladbach counter at speed, with Thuram dribbling into the box before shooting inside the near post.
Skov crosses towards Adamyan, whose flying header sails agonisingly wide of the target. Sommer could not have done anything about that one.
A pass in behind puts Neuhaus clean through against Baumann and he coolly slots home the third.
It just isn't meant to be: Rudy first hits the post from 15 metres out, then Skov's follow-up misses the target.