BERLIN: Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim crashed to their first Bundesliga defeat of the season on Sunday with a shock 3-2 loss at strugglers Freiburg, amidst rumours linking him to Bayern Munich.
The defeat is a set back for Hoffenheim's 30-year-old coach, who has been tipped, alongside Thomas Tuchel, amongst the favourites to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as Bayern's coach.
The Italian was sacked on Thursday, and Nagelsmann has not denied reports linking him to the Bavarians.
The defeat on Sunday leaves Hoffenheim second in the table, but five points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who ground out a 2-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday even though star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered a second-half penalty.
With caretaker coach Willy Sagnol at the helm, defending champions Bayern can move up from third to second place if they win at Hertha Berlin on Sunday afternoon.
In Freiburg, the game against Hoffenheim got off to a bang with all three first-half goals coming in four crazy minutes.
Hoffenheim took the lead when 19-year-old Robin Hack made a dream start, just 14 minutes into his senior debut, when the left winger fired home after a great final pass from Germany striker Sandro Wagner.
Freiburg responded immediately when striker Florian Niederlechner equalised a minute later from a cross.
The hosts then took the lead on 18 minutes when Turkey international defender Caglar Soyuncu headed home from a corner.
Just like the start, the match finished with a flurry of goals.
Freiburg sealed their first win of the season when replacement Nils Petersen, who has a habit of scoring off the bench, set up Pascal Stenzel to fire home on 87 minutes.
There was drama in the closing stages as Freiburg midfielder Julian Schuster turned the ball into his own net on 92 minutes, but the hosts held on.
The win lifts Freiburg out of the relegation zone, at the expense of Hamburg, who were held to a goalless draw at home by Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The goalless draw in the north German derby left both teams in the relegation places.