Berlin (AFP) – Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric netted both goals as Hoffenheim saw off bottom side Nuremberg 2-1 on Sunday as Bayern Munich finished the weekend back on top of the Bundesliga.
Bayern warmed-up for Wednesday’s crunch Champions League last 16, return leg at home to Liverpool by hammering Wolfsburg 6-0 in Munich on Saturday with Robert Lewandowski leading the charge with two goals.
The heavy win allowed Bayern to claim top spot for the first time since September on goal difference from Borussia Dortmund, who struggled to a 3-1 home win over relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
On Sunday, Croatia striker Kramaric steered Hoffenheim to a home win in Sinsheim as he netted a penalty — maintaining his 100 percent record from his five spot kicks this season – then added a second with a deft flick.
Hoffenheim were denied a penalty after just four minutes when the video assistant referee (VAR) spotted Kramaric went down in the area, but there was no contact from Nuremberg’s Brazilian defender Ewerton.
The home side eventually had their chance from the penalty spot when Nuremberg’s Patrick Erras handled in the box and Kramaric sent goalkeeper Christian Mathenia the wrong way.
It was one-way traffic from Hoffenheim in the first half as forward Ishak Belfodil also hit the post.
Bottom side Nuremberg gave hope to travelling fans when their captain Hanno Behrens equalised just after the hour mark when his shot flew under Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Typically, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted by reinforcing his attack with Hungarian striker Adam Szalai coming on.
The bold move was rewarded when Belfodil found Kramaric in the box and his clever flick through Mathenia’s legs sealed the win to move Hoffenheim up to eighth – just two points from the European places.
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