John Brooks and Hoffenheim gave themselves another survival boost as they beat Schalke to put themselves five points clear of the Bundesliga’s relegation zone.
Hoffenheim 2-0 Schalke
An Alex Kral own goal and a strike by Ihlas Bebou from the penalty spot ensured Hoffenheim a precious three points as they came away with the shutout win over Schalke at the PreZero Arena.
Head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo kept John Brooks in his starting eleven as the center-back went the distance, completing 63 percent of his passes and winning eight duels.
Both sides started out with chances to open the scoring, but the momentum would shift in the hosts’ favor as they were gifted a goal in the 22nd minute. Angelino’s low cross would be bungled in mistakenly by Kral to give Hoffenheim the lead.
The own goal did not deter the Royal Blues as they came close to leveling the score when Japanese international Maya Yoshida’s head came crashing off the frame.
Both teams made tactical changes as they entered the second half, but it would be the hosts who got the chance to double their lead when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Christoph Baumgartner was tripped up in the box, allowing Ihlas Bebou to step up and convert the spot-kick in the 70th minute to cushion their lead.
It’s now three wins in a row for Hoffenheim as they now sit in 14th place in the standings with 28 points.
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Wolfsburg
Goals in both halves saw Borussia Monchengladbach come out on top as they blanked Wolfsburg at Borussia Park.
Joe Scally started for the Foals and played 76 minutes, completing 61 percent of his passes, winning two duels, and making one tackle. On the other side, Kevin Paredes came off the bench for the Wolves to play the final 31 minutes of the contest, completing 83 percent of his passes and winning two duels.
Wolfsburg thought they had a deserved lead after 10 minutes when Omar Marmoush ran onto a through-ball from Felix Nmecha and fired into the back of the net. However, it would be disallowed due to an offside call.
The hosts breathed a sigh of relief and finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the 34th minute when Marcus Thuram played the ball out to the right for Nathan Ngoumou. The Frenchman cut inside and put the ball well out of reach of Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels to bag his first Bundesliga goal.
The deficit affected the visitors as they entered the second half with ‘Gladbach’s confidence started to grow.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 63rd minute as Thuram teamed up with his French counterparts Ngoumou and Alassane Plea to secure all three points.
The win puts Monchengladbach in 10th place in the standings with 35 points, four points behind Wolfsburg who lie ninth with 39 points.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Jordan Pefok played the final six minutes and change for Union Berlin as they fell to Borussia Dortmund in a 2-1 defeat.
Paxten Aaronson and Tim Chandler were spectators on the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt for their 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Terrence Boyd played 67 minutes as Kaiserslautern fell in a 1-0 loss to Eintracht Braunschweig.
Lennard Maloney went the distance for Heidenheim as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to streaking St. Pauli led by American-born coach Fabian Hurzeler. Both teams are in a battle to see who can secure a promotion place.
Julian Green played 77 minutes and Maximilian Dietz came on in stoppage time as Greuther Furth secured a 2-0 win over Sandhausen.
Ryan Malone played the full 90 minutes for Hansa Rostock in their 3-2 loss to Holstein Kiel to keep them four points away from safety.
Down in the 3. Liga, Mael Corboz was in on the goals as Verl sealed a 4-1 win over Jann George, who also scored a goal, and Bayreuth.
Johan Gomez played 82 minutes and Nicolas Carrera came on to play the final seven minutes for Zwickau in their 2-2 draw with Saarbrucken.
Isaiah Young played the final 15 minutes for Rot-Weiss Essen in their 2-1 defeat to Dynamo Dresden.
Jerome Butler played the final 32 minutes while Jalen Hawkins remained on the bench for Ingolstadt in their 3-0 win over Meppen.
Kevin Lankford played the final 11 minutes for Viktoria Cologne as they fell to Elversberg in a 3-2 loss.