Life in Hamburg has been rather disappointing this season, Hamburg are currently second from bottom in the Bundesliga and could be bottom if Dortmund don’t lose today. As for the other Hamburg club, St. Pauli they haven’t been any better in the 2.Bundesliga, they are bottom of the table and things don’t look like improving. Since their 3-0 win against Union Berlin St. Pauli have gone on to lose four out of their last five game, they did manage a good draw away to Nürnberg. As for their visitors they’ve been tough to beat and find themselves in eighth place going into this game. They came into the with an unbeaten run of six games, five of those six games resulted in draws, all against tough opponents.
Things were certainly looking against the home side going into this game, Kaiserslautern have the better form and the better history, in twenty-four meetings they’ve won fifteen of them and only losing to St. Pauli on five occasions. The last meeting saw Kaiserslautern run out 4-0 winners. One positive for the home side that would give them confidence is Kaiserslautern’s away form, The Red Devils haven’t won away so far this season, four draws and two defeats.
In the 13th minute Kaiserslautern were under a lot of pressure from St. Pauli, a number of shots were well blocked but the ball kept coming back at them. The moved was halted when Michael Görlitz was brought down outside the area, unfortunately he struck the freekick into the wall.
Srđan Lakić had a few good chances throughout the game, however most of the time he found himself offside, one of those chances for him saw a cross from the left and he managed to beat Lasse Sobiech in the air to head straight at Tobias Sippel.
Kaiserslautern rode some St. Pauli pressure well and they soon looked for the opener, that opening goal came in the 22nd minute. Jean Zimmer broke down the right and with plenty of space he was allowed to pick his pass, despite his pass taking a deflection to Amin Younes and the Gladbach loanee took his chance excellently as he fired past Philipp Tschauner.
The away side didn’t waste any time in grabbing another goal just before the half hour mark, after applying a lot of pressure they forced a mistake at the back and this allowed Zimmer to pounce on the loose ball and he took the gift with open arms and calmly slotted past Tschauner.
The first half was highly competitive and there weren’t too many chances that forced the keepers into action. Kaiserslautern were clinical when their chances arrived and deserved the half time lead.
Kaiserslautern had an early chance when a long diagonal ball picked out Markus Karl, however he could only fire his volley over the bar.
Just before the hour mark St. Pauli managed to get back into the game, a short corner to Sebastian Schachten saw him deliver a lovely cross into the box, Sippel raced out of goal to punch clear, yet it was only to Marcel Halstenberg outside the area, he teed the ball up and fired a low volley towards goal, which flew just out of Sippel’s reach and into the corner.
The goal gave St. Pauli plenty of confidence and they were pushing forward with real intention and applying plenty of pressure. They had a great chance which unfortunately failed to produce anything, John Verhoek was slipped through and the pass just managed to get away from him and forced him out wide. His cross into the box was a poor one and feel straight into Sippel’s arms.
The home side were haviung much more of the ball and didn’t allow Kaiserslautern much breathing space, despite this they struggled to to test Sippel, a number of efforts flew wide or over. They couldn’t find an equaliser and as the game approached the end Kaiserslautern broke away to seal the win. A long ball over the top from Karl played through Sebastian Jacob, who looked just offside, however Jacob did well to cut inside past a defender before firing past Tschauner.
That was the end of the action, despite their efforts St. Pauli couldn’t produce in the final third. If they apply the same effort in the next few weeks and create more in attack they should manage to drag themselves off the bottom. A much needed first away win for Kaiserslautern and they now sit in fourth place. St. Pauli are in for another tough test next week when they travel to face Bochum, Kaiserslautern return home to host Erzgebirge Aue.
Article for VAVEL.