Markus Babbel has admitted he was left mystified after nine-man Hoffenheim were hammered 4-0 at home by Eintracht Frankfurt to leave them bottom of the Bundesliga.
It was Hoffenheim's third defeat in three competitive matches after suffering a shock 4-0 defeat at fourth-division side Berliner AK 07 in the DFB-Pokal a fortnight ago, before a 2-1 loss at Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend.
Things went seriously array for Hoffenheim at their Rhein Neckar Arena on Saturday as both midfielder Sejad Salihovic and defender Stephan Schrock were sent off in the second half for receiving second yellow cards.
"I have no logical explanation," admitted ex-Liverpool defender Babbel, who has previously coached Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin. "This performance is a mystery to me. This is definitely a bad start. This is bitter for the guys, it has hurt us."
Hoffenheim's miserable afternoon took a turn for the worst when midfielder Alexander Meier scored Eintracht's opening goal on 39 minutes, before captain Pirmin Schwegler added a second just before the interval.
Hoffenheim had midfielder Salihovic sent off on 70 minutes for two quick bookings, and Philippines defender Schrock followed after he was shown his second yellow card three minutes later.
The hosts' misery was compounded when Meier netted his second with a penalty on 83 minutes before Martin Lanig headed the fourth in the 90th minute. "After going 1-0 down, you could see the boys were shocked," said the 39-year-old Babbel.
"I was very disturbed, because we didn't then respond positively, so we were 2-0 down at half-time. During the break, I knew that it is difficult to change things around. I tried to give us a fresh start with a few replacements, but the two sendings off threw that out of the window."