UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|TSG 1899 Hoffenheim||
(First leg: 3-3)
Rhein-Neckar-Arena - SinsheimThursday 25 February 2021|
18.55CET (18.55 local time) Round of 32, Second leg
After a dramatic first leg in Spain that ended 3-3, Hoffenheim and Molde go head to head again in Gerrmany with both clubs seeking a first ever qualification for the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• While it was plain sailing in the autumn for Hoffenheim, the German side winning their first four matches to secure qualification from Group L with two to spare and ending up on top of the section with 16 points, 17 goals scored and just two conceded, Molde had to wait until Matchday 6 before learning of their group stage fate, a 2-2 draw away to Rapid Wien taking them through as runners-up in Group B to Arsenal.
• Hoffenheim faced a Norwegian club for the first time when they took on Molde in a first leg relocated to Villarreal's Estadio de la Cerámica, and the German side looked to be cruising when Munas Dabbur struck twice to give them a 2-0 lead that then became 3-1 at the interval. However, a missed penalty from the Israeli striker allowed Molde back into the game and they scored twice in four minutes to level the tie, the goals coming from Eirik Ulland Andersen and David Datro Fofana – both making their European debut.
• Molde's four UEFA matches against German opposition prior to the first leg were all against Stuttgart. Although they lost to them in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round (2-3 h, 2-2 a), they beat them home (2-0) and away (1-0) two seasons later in the group stage – albeit in vain as they lost their other four matches to finish bottom of the section while Stuttgart went through as group runners-up.
• Sixth place in the 2019/20 Bundesliga secured a return to European football for Hoffenheim after a one-year absence, putting them in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the second time.
• Hoffenheim failed to progress from their group on their previous appearance in the competition, finishing fourth on five points in 2017/18 in a group containing Braga, Ludogorets and İstanbul Başakşehir. They made no mistake this term, though, Sebastian Hoeness's side beating Crvena zvezda 2-0 at home, Gent 4-1 away and Slovan Liberec twice (5-0 h, 2-0 a) to secure early qualification before a goalless draw in Belgrade clinched top spot. The German club celebrated their achievement in style with another 4-1 win against Gent on Matchday 6.
• Hoffenheim have scored in all but one of their 21 European fixtures – that 0-0 draw at Crvena zvezda on Matchday 5.
• Hoffenheim's home record in Europe is W4 D2 L4, parity having been reached with their three group stage wins this season, which included their biggest continental victory – 5-0 against Liberec on Matchday 3.
• Hoffenheim have never previously drawn the first leg away from home in a UEFA tie.
• Champions of Norway in 2019, claiming their fourth title in nine years, Molde returned to the UEFA Europa League group stage having just missed out on a place in the UEFA Champions League. Following qualifying victories against KuPS (5-0 h), Celje (2-1 a) and Qarabağ (0-0 a, 6-5 on pens), Erling Moe's side lost out in the play-offs on away goals to Ferencváros (3-3 h, 0-0 a).
• Molde's third UEFA Europa League group campaign ended, as in 2015/16, with a second-placed finish. Though soundly beaten twice by runaway Group B winners Arsenal (1-4 h, 0-3 h), they did the double over Dundalk (2-1 a, 3-1 h) and beat Rapid 1-0 at home before getting the point they needed in Vienna on Matchday 6 to secure springtime European football for only the second time in the club's history.
• The club's only previous appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase came five years ago when they lost their round of 32 tie to holders and eventual winners Sevilla, going down 3-0 in Spain and bowing out despite a 1-0 win in Norway.
• The 2-1 victory against Dundalk in Dublin on Matchday 1 was one of only three wins for Molde in their last 12 European away matches (D5 L4). However, their all-time record outside Norway in the UEFA Europa League group stage to final is, including the first leg of this tie, W4 D3 L4.
• Molde have won three of the eight European ties in which they drew at home in the first leg. The only previous occasion that they did so with a 3-3 scoreline was in this season's UEFA Champions League play-off defeat by Ferencváros.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Georginio Rutter (Rennes), Chris Richards (Bayern, loan)
Out: João Klauss (Standard Liège, loan), Jacob Bruun Larsen (Anderlecht, loan)
In: Emil Breivik, David Datro Fofana (Angers, loan), Björn Sigurdarson (Lillestrøm)
Out: Henry Wingo (Ferencváros), Leke James (al-Qadisiyah), Mattias Moström (released)
Links and trivia
• Hoffenheim midfielder Håvard Nordtveit is a former Norway international (52 caps) who started out at Haugesund and played one season in the Norwegian top flight with Lillestrøm, on loan from Arsenal, in 2009.
• Nordtveit played alongside Molde skipper Magnus Wolff Eikrem on four occasions for Norway.
• Hoffenheim midfielder Sebastian Rudy played for Stuttgart against Molde in both legs of the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, scoring the opening goal of the tie in the German side's 3-2 win in Norway.
• Molde's Mathis Boly has played in Germany for Fortuna Düsseldorf (2013–16) and Greuther Fürth (2016–18), while his team-mate Birk Risa played academy and first-team football for Köln (2014–17).
• Molde ceded their domestic title in the autumn, Bodø/Glimt becoming Norwegian champions for the first time in 2020.
• Molde are bidding to become the first Norwegian club to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• Hoffenheim have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Molde's record in one UEFA penalty-shoot-out is W1 L0:
6-5 v Qarabağ, 2020/21 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round