Bundesliga Match of the Week 3: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2-0 FC Bayern München

Back from the international break, the Bundesliga provided us with a battle between the talented Julian Nagelsmann and the experienced Carlo Ancelotti. Going into the match, Hoffenheim were in 5th and Bayern 2nd. The prospect of the young Nagelsmann and veteran champion Ancelotti facing each other proved to favor the younger manager by the final whistle Saturday. Hoffenheim have come on leaps and bounds under Nagelsmann and this match provided evidence of his progress at the club.

The initial stages of the game started with Bayern having the upper hand. Possession based football that works to control the game in the opponents half painted the picture of the whole match for Bayern. Looking to take advantage of their talent, Bayern set out to create opportunities.

It didn’t take long for the away side register their first shot. Robert Lewandowski hit the woodwork in the 7th minute. Creating chances and having a number of shots in the opening stages, it looked like the Bavarians were out to carry on their winning form. Despite that, it’s not always that simple when facing Hoffenheim at home. Under Nagelsmann the Rhein-Neckar-Arena has started to take the shape of a fortress and it proved to be the case in this match. Bayern were controlling possession with a number of opportunities to go ahead. Despite this, the away side weren’t making the most of their chances. That became the story of the match for the Bavarians. Hoffenheim made sure to make the most of this. As a result of a throwin that caught Mats Hummels off guard, Mark Uth was through on goal and put the home side in the lead. A mistake that Bayern were punished for. Boosted by their goal, Hoffenheim were looking more confident in a match where Bayern was gaining advantage in terms of possession. But possession on its own isn’t enough to win a match and Hoffenheim made sure to make that a reality.

The second half provided a similar situation for Bayern — controlling possession, creating opportunities and having shots on goal, but unable to get that breakthrough. Yet again Hoffenheim looked to punish the Bavarians for their missed opportunities. It took the home side six minutes into the second half to increase the lead. Carrying the ball into the box, Steven Zuber put the Bayern defence under pressure. Similar to the first goal, Bayern were caught out by the attack of Hoffenheim which allowed for Zuber to assist Uth who netted again.

Still having possession and opportunities to score, the frustration from the Bavarians was mounting on every chance they had. They were looking for that extra something that would finally give them the goal they were looking for. But despite Ancelotti bringing in Arjen Robben for Sebastian Rudy before the hour mark, and Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez in the 78th minute, that didn’t come and for Bayern they will be coming away disappointed with their inability to be clinical in front of goal at Hoffenheim. The home side lacked possession but made up for it in other areas. Hoffenheim walk away with all three points and their second consecutive win over Bayern Munich with their heads held high. Nagelsmann outsmarted Ancelotti.


TSG 1899 Hoffenheim:

  • 28.2% Possession
  • 2 Goals
  • 6 Shots (3 On Target)
  • 44.1% Duels Won
  • 277 Passes (208 Short Passes, 67 Long Balls, 2 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 3)
  • 62.2% Pass Accuracy
  • 442 Touches
  • 5 Chances Created
  • 2 Crosses
  • 11 Take Ons
  • 17 Interceptions
  • 35 Clearances
  • 20 Blocks

FC Bayern München:

  • 71.8% Possession
  • 0 Goals
  • 23 Shots (6 On Target)
  • 55.9% Duels Won
  • 704 Passes (577 Shot Passes, 83 Long Balls, 44 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 6)
  • 88.2% Pass Accuracy
  • 860 Touches
  • 18 Chances Created
  • 44 Crosses
  • 19 Take Ons
  • 15 Interceptions
  • 3 Clearances
  • 12 Blocks

FC Bayern München’s defeat to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was their earliest Bundesliga defeat in 6 years

Mark Uth is the first TSG 1899 Hoffenheim player to score 2 goals against FC Bayern München

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim haven’t conceded a goal in 8 of the last 10 Bundesliga games

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are now 19 Bundesliga games unbeaten at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Fortress Hoffenheim:


Julian Nagelsmann vs FC Bayern München:

(Statistics provided by Bundesliga.com, DW, Squawka, Onefootball, WhoScored, Opta, etc.)


Julian Nagelsmann is proving to be a very talented manager and his ability to outsmart an experienced manager like Carlo Ancelotti proved that. Playing Hoffenheim isn’t an easy task and this task proved too much for the Bavarian’s. Applying their possession based style of play, Bayern were having the upper hand in that area. Mixed with the talents available, opportunities are expected to arise. The opening 10 minutes saw the Bavarian’s dominate possession with 73.3%, compared to Hoffenheim’s 26.7%. With a 90% pass accuracy in the opening stages, Bayern were able to make their presence known.


Primarily attacking down the left in the opening stages, Bayern were looking to take advantage of Coman’s pace, the away were able to produce a number of opportunities. Their closest opportunity came in the 7th minute when Lewandowski hit the wood work. The opening 10 minutes looked positive for Bayern, 4 shots, 4 chances created and winning the battle in terms of possession, surely this was going to put Bayern in a position to win the game. It would have if they were able to properly test Oliver Baumann. Of the 4 shots Bayern had in the opening 10 minutes, zero were on target. This proved to be the story of the game for the Bavarian’s.

As the match progressed, Bayern continued to control possession. Looking for opportunities, the Bavarian’s were facing some problems in dealing with Hoffenheim. The home side lined up in a 3-1-4-2 formation. This formation essentially allows for versatility when facing Bayern. When dealing with an attack from the away side, Hoffenheim is able revert to 5 at the back where Zuber and Pavel Kadeřábek can limit the space given to Bayern’s wingers, this especially becomes important when facing the pace of Coman.


The tactics employed by Nagelsmann were working and that proved to be the case throughout the game. It also didn’t help the away side with the fact that they weren’t clinical in front of goal. It would only be a matter of time before Bayern were punished. Caught off guard by a quick throw in by Andrej Kramarić, Hummels was left in bad situation with his back to the ball, he was unable keep track of the incoming ball to Uth. As a result, Uth was through on goal and was able to slot it past Neuer. Advantage Hoffenheim.


In the game of football mistakes can be costly and this was the case for Bayern. Despite controlling possession, they were struggling to break down the defence of Hoffenheim who were able to deal with what the Bavarian’s threw at them. An example of this can be seen in the image below where Joshua Kimmich crosses the ball into the box to Lewandowski who heads it down in hope that a red shirt will find the ball. Being in the 3-1-4-2 formation, Hoffenheim are able to revert to a defensive style of play when needed. In this case players were able to drop back dominate the box, limiting and stopping Bayern’s chances of scoring. The away side on multiple occasions resorted to crossing (43 in the match) in the hope they could find Lewandowski or another head in the box.


When looking at the statistics of the game, it shows that a mix of Hoffenheim’s defence and Bayern’s inability to be clinical in front of goal were a factor in Bayern only having 33% of their shots in the 18 yard box. The rest, 67%, were outside the box.

The second half showed a similar picture for Bayern, controlling possession (74.7% in the second half) and having opportunities on goal that didn’t produce what they were looking for. It didn’t take long for Hoffenheim to seize on yet another opportunity that presented them. Hoffenheim were rewarded a free kick that was drilled towards the box by Ermin Bičakčić to find the head of Kimmich who headed the ball in the direction of  Nadiem Amiri. As a result Hoffenheim gained possession in dangerous area. Amiri took on the ball and passed it into the box to Zuber who was able to draw Bayern’s defenders further into the box, leaving a space for Uth to take advantage of. From there Uth put the ball in the back of the net. Fortress Hoffenheim was proving a difficult task for the Bavarians.


From there Hoffenheim gained further confidence in being able to create further opportunities when possible. Bayern continued the familiar story of controlling possession, with shots and chances being created. Coman was Bayern’s primary influence when attacking and that becomes evident with 46% of the attack coming down the left side, 27% up the middle, 26% right side. The introduction of Robben saw Bayern add something they were missing from the start, the extra speed and ability to work round players and created chances. Slotting in on the right, Robben was able to create a sense of equality when attacking, rather than primarily relying on one side of the pitch. Coming in the 57th minute, a total of 26 passes, 31 touches (3 less than Müller), 90% pass accuracy, 1 shot, 2 chances created, 2 crosses, and 1 take on. Robben’s contribution and influence in how Bayern’s style of play changed shows that Bayern would have been in a better position in the game if they started Dutchman, who we know can be deadly on the pitch. Unfortunately for the Bavarian’s, substitutions came too late (Bayern’s next sub came in the 75th minute).

Hoffenheim proved a difficult task for Bayern who will be travelling back to Munich frustrated. Despite creating 18 chances, 23 shots, and 71.8% possession, Bayern were unable to make the most of their opportunities and lacked the clinical excellence that we expect from the Bavarian’s. The passmaps and xGplot provide a telling story for Bayern.

Nagelsmann and Hoffenheim are coming away with 3 points and their heads held high. Yet again they have been able to stop FC Bayern München.

Honourable Mention:

Schalke 3-1 VfB Stuttgart

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From Yorkshire, Callum fell for the beautiful game at an early age. The Bundesliga first caught his attention in 2014. Since then, his admiration and interest for the Bundesliga has developed greatly. Falling in love with what the Bundesliga and Germany has to offer was easy. So Callum, decided to put his passion into words. You can find him on Twitter @CallumSeniuk

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