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Reiss Nelson fires Hoffenheim back into Europa League spot

Berlin (AFP) – Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson scored his first goal since November on Sunday as Hoffenheim secured a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin to climb back into the Bundesliga top six.

Nelson, 19, out with a thigh injury in recent weeks, marked his return in style. The English youngster came off the bench to add to Nadiem Amiri’s first-half opener and seal three crucial points in the race for European qualification.

Only two points separate sixth-place Hoffenheim from Wolfsburg in ninth, with Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen also in the running for a Europa League spot. 

Hoffenheim were utterly dominant first 20 minutes, but somehow conspired not to score, twice hitting the woodwork and missing several chances from point-blank range. 

Amiri broke the deadlock after half an hour, smashing the ball in off the post with his side’s 14th shot on goal. 

Hoffenheim were twice denied by goalie Rune Jarstein in the second-half, before Nelson headed in the second goal of the day on the counter-attack. 

The goal, which was given by VAR after being initially ruled out for offside, was Nelson’s first since his explosive run of form at the beginning of the season. 

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