Andrej Kramaric hat trick lifts Hoffenheim into top four

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Andrej Kramaric scored a brilliant hat trick as Hoffenheim moved into the Champions League places with a 3-1 victory over Hannover.

Julian Nagelsmann’s team won a third straight Bundesliga wholesale game to move into the top four ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, who can regain fourth spot with a victory over Stuttgart on Saturday.

It was Croatian Kramaric who opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Salif Sane’s woeful back-pass was seized upon by Serge Gnabry, allowing him to present Kramaric with a tap-in.

The visitors replied soon after, though, as ex-Hoffenheim midfielder Pirmin Schwegler squared for Kenan Karaman to level.17

Ex-Leicester striker Kramaric restored Hoffenheim’s lead after the break, wholesale china having been left all alone to drive home an unstoppable right-footed volley direct from Kerem Demirbay’s corner.

And Kramaric wrapped up the victory four minutes from time by collecting a long clearance on his chest and lifting over goalkeeper Philipp Tschauner from 25 yards out after the keeper had been caught off his line.