Arjoms Rudnevs scored a goal in each half as Hamburg eased past Hoffenheim.
Artjoms Rudnevs scored twice, and Hamburg eased to a 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim on Friday evening.
Hoffenheim started brightly pushing forward and pressuring their hosts, forcing them to play deep, and making them uncomfortable. Hamburg began to assert themselves more after the early proceedings, and they were soon in control of the general play. By the end of the half, Hamburg would be looking at two-thirds of the possession and 100 more completed passes than Hoffenheim.
The deadlock was broken after 28 minutes with some poor defending and goalkeeping conspiring to cost Hoffenheim again. Fabian Johnson failed to put any pressure on Dennis Diekmeier allowing the right back to send a cross into the box. Rudnevs jumped while Matthieu Delpierre remained flat-footed, and the Latvian headed the ball over the head of Koen Casteels for the goal. The Hoffenheim goalkeeper was way too far off his line would've made an easy save if he had been correctly positioned.
Since they no longer get down when conceding goals, Hoffenheim came right after Hamburg at the restart. Rene Adler had to make a decent save on a shot by Eren Derdiyok to keep the lead. Hamburg maintained their stranglehold on the play, especially in the midfield, and almost took a two goal advantage, but Tolgay Arslan side volley smashed off the crossbar.
The second half saw much of the same action as the first. Hamburg continued to stifle while failing to generate many quality chances of their own. Hamburg grabbed their second goal in the 74th minute thanks to Rudnevs. A cross following a set piece deep in Hoffenheim territory was partially cleared, but the ball didn't make it past Rudnevs. The striker wasted no time and struck past Casteels again to make it 2-0.
As the match wound to an end, Hamburg maintained possession and effectively killed the match. The three points take Hamburg up into 6th place in the table before the remainder of the matches this weekend. Hoffenheim remain in 16th place. While they are four points clear of the direct relegation places, they are also four points from getting out of the relegation playoff position.