A stunning late double from Christoph Baumgartner has earned Hoffenheim a dramatic 2-1 win at home to VfB Stuttgart and lifted the hosts into the Bundesliga’s Champions League zone.
Baumgartner fired a 90th-minute winner from Jacob Bruun Larsen’s cross just five minutes after he curled home a brilliant equaliser to turn a game Stuttgart seemed set to win.
Hoffenheim are three points clear of RB Leipzig in fourth before the weekend fixtures but Stuttgart remain second bottom, three from the potential safety of the play-off spot, and are now nine without victory.
“Of course it is a dream for us to play in the elite level next year,” Hoffenheim’s David Raum told DAZN. “But it’s still too early to think about it.”
Stuttgart’s poor run looked like ending when Wataru Endo turned in a corner at the back post just before the hour, but they couldn’t see the victory over the line.
“It’s brutally bitter today,” said Stuttgart’s Pascal Stenzel. “If you can’t take the three points then you have to get at least one. We didn’t manage that again.”
There was a minute of silence before kick-off for the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the players displayed an anti-war banner before beginning an entertaining contest.
Both sides struck the woodwork in the first half with the visitors somehow not going in front when Chris Fuhrich met a cross from Tiago Tomas only to hit the post.
At the other end Benjamin Hubner headed straight at keeper Florian Muller and Pavel Kaderabek somehow hit the bar from point-blank range.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich visit Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday before second-placed Borussia Dortmund travel to Augsburg on Sunday.