The best medicine for being knocked out of the Europa League is playing at home and smacking around your opponents to a 5-1 scoreline. Hannover enjoyed today. Hamburg... not so much.
Hamburg's good run of form came to an end on Saturday thanks to a 5-1 thumping at the hands of Hannover. Coming into the match, the talk was all about how Hamburg could find themselves in a Champions League place with a positive result. At the end of the day, their grasp on the last Europa League place in tenuous as Hannover are only one point behind.
Hannover grabbed a lead after only seven minutes thanks to Mame Biram Diouf. Szabolcs Huszti's sent in a free kick, and Diouf got his head on the end of it to beat Adler and make it 1-0. Hamburg managed to equalize a few minutes later from the penalty spot. Johan Djourou fouled Dennis Aogo in the area, and Rafael Van der Vaart converted the kick.
The referee awarded Hannover a penalty of their own in the 39th minute when Adler brought down Sergio Pinto in the area. No cards were shown. Huszti stepped up and smashed his spot kick into the net to give Hannover the 2-1 lead.
Didier Ya Konan scored a brace with a goal on either side of halftime. His first was a fantastic volley that beat Adler just before the halftime whistle. The second came in the 68th minute when he finished a low cross from Konstantin Rausch.
Mohammed Abdellaoue finished the scoring in the 85th minute to complete the 5-1 victory.
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