Hoffenheim earn comfortable win over ten-man Hannover to move upto third in the Bundesliga...Hoffenheim made light work of destroying ten-man Hannover as they cruised to a 4-0 victory at the Rhein-Neckar Arena. A Christian Schulz own-goal just before half-time gave the home side the lead. Second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson, Demba Ba and Periel Mlapa inflicted Hannover with their heaviest defeat of the season as Hoffenheim moved upto third in the table.
The game started with the home side in the ascendancy yet chances were few and far between in the opening stages of the game.
It was die Hoffe who fashioned the first chance of the game in the 15th minute. Demba Ba held his run well to get onto the end of a delightful Tobias Weis through ball. The angle was tight as the Senegalese striker hit a powerful shot on the volley yet Florian Fromlowitz did well to acrobatically tip the ball clear.
Four minutes later the complexion of the game was changed when Hannover's Manuel Schmiedebach was given his marching orders for a second yellow card. The midfielder led with his elbow in a challenge on Sebastian Rudy and deservedly saw red.
Understandably the dismissal for die Roten gifted Ralf Rangnick's side even more possession but chances were rare in the first period.
Perhaps the home side should have taken the lead in the 44th minute. Gylfi Sigurdsson clipped a weighted ball into the box where the unmarked Isaac Vorsah was unable to direct his header on target from six yards out.
However, Hoffenheim didn't have to wait long to opening the scoring, a minute in fact through rather fortuitous circumstances. An Andreas Beck cross found its way to Sigurdsson just inside the Hannover box. The Icelandic youngster's shot was poor and appeared to be going wide until the ball took a hefty deflection off Christian Schulz to leave Fromlowitz stranded as the ball flew into the net.
Hannover got their second-half off to the worst possible start when Schuz clumsily brought down Chinedu Obasi in the area on 48 minutes with the referee in no hesitation to award the penalty. Sigurdsson stepped up to cooly dispatch the ball into the net, sending Fromlowitz the wrong way in the process.
The home side put the result beyond doubt three minutes later. The excellent Sigurdsson whipped in a free-kick where Demba Ba was on hand to nod the ball in from six yards. The goal was Ba's sixth of the season.
The game turned into a rout on 71 minutes when die Hoffe added a fourth. A powerful run from the impressive Rudy allowed the ex-Stuttgart man to slip the ball to Peniel Mlapa. The German under-21 international controlled the ball and slotted it into the away side's goal from the edge of the area.
Hoffenheim comfortably saw out the game and it wasn't until the 87th minute that the away side tested Tom Starke when Moritz Stoppelkamp saw his 20 yard effort parried by the ex-Duisburg man.
Rangnick's men visit Hamburg next Saturday while Hannover will be hoping to pick themselves up when they entertain Bundesliga leaders Dortmund on Sunday.