An unforgettable afternoon for Mainz


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Mainz deservedly beat Bundesliga champions FC Bayern by three goals to one on Saturday afternoon after a fast and furious performance. The Zerofivers were superior in almost all departments and were the better team for 90 minutes. Despite goals from Moussa Niakhaté, Jonny Burkardt and Leandro Barreiro, Svensson’s side will be disappointed that they didn’t score more against the record champions. This was the Zerofivers’ tenth win at the MEWA ARENA this season and they now sit on 42 points after 32 games.

Bo Svensson made four changes from the side that faced Wolfsburg last time out. Aaron, Karim Onisiwo, Dominik Kohr and Alexander Hack came in for Anderson Lucoqui, Marcus Ingvartsen, Jean-Paul Boetius and the suspended Niklas Tauer.

Dominant performance from the first whistle

Mainz made a great start to the contest and won a corner after only a few seconds. Although Widmer’s cross came to nothing, the Zerofivers made their intentions known from the very first minute. Jonny Burkardt also came close to scoring on two occasions in the opening stages. The first of his opportunities came in the second minute, when his attempt from a tight angle inside the six yard box came off the underside of the crossbar. Just 60 seconds later, he had another chance inside Bayern’s penalty area, but he fired his effort over the goal. Bayern looked stunned by Mainz’s bright start and failed to land any early punches of their own. Mainz kept the pressure on their opponents and went close to scoring in the eleventh minute, when Hack’s header from a corner hit the cross bar. No one inside the stadium would’ve been surprised if Svensson’s side had taken an early lead. FC Bayern then had an opportunity in the 15th minute against the run of play, when Serge Gnabry found himself in on goal after a ball over the top. Zentner was alert to the danger and cleared his lines.

Mainz came close again in the 17th minute when Stefan Bell headed the ball to the back post after a corner kick. It fell to Hack, who couldn’t quite get the desired contact and hit the ball straight at Ullreich. However, a minute later, it was Jonny Burkardt who broke the deadlock. Dominik Kohr smartly guided a header from the middle of the park into the 21-year-old, whose first time shot went underneath the Bayern goalkeeper and into net. The Zerofivers maintained their intensity and kept winning the ball high up the pitch as a result of some good counter pressing. Stach had a couple of shots from promising positions, but failed to test Ullreich.

The Bundesliga champions remained toothless as Mainz continued to press for a second. It eventually came in the 24th minute, when Aaron’s cross from the right hand side was flicked on, into the path of Moussa Niakhaté, who tapped in from two yards out. At this point in the contest, Mainz had had eleven shots to Bayern’s one, which was a reflection of the Zerofivers’ dominance in the first half. Despite their lacklustre first half, Bayern pulled a goal back in the 33rd minute through Robert Lewandowski.

A deserved half time lead

Bayern’s goal, however, didn’t deter Mainz and they continued to press their opponents with intensity and played some good football. Onisiwo had a chance to score Mainz’s third in the 37th minute, but his curling effort outside the penalty area whistled past the post. Leo Barriero got even closer with his long range attempt in the 42nd minute and Stach’s effort from a corner was blocked. The hosts deserved their lead at the break, but it could’ve been a lot more than just two.

Barreiro extends Mainz’s lead

The visitors made a decent start to the second half and carved out an opportunity in the 48th minute. Lewandowski’s effort, however, was crucially blocked by Hack and the score remained 2-1. Mainz sat back in the early stages of the second half and looked to beat Bayern’s high defensive line by making quick passes after winning the ball. This game plan eventually led to Mainz’s third goal of the game in the 57th minute. Widmer found himself in the penalty area after a slick move down the right-hand-side and played the ball back to Barreiro, who’s deflected effort looped over Ullreich and into the Bayern goal. This gave Mainz the momentum and once again, Burkardt had an opportunity to put his side further ahead in the 61st minute. Onisiwo found his teammate, who was unmarked in the middle of the penalty area. The 21-year-old, however, dragged his shot wide and the score remained 3-1.

FSV remained the stronger of the two sides and Bayern continued to look sluggish. Svensson’s side were stronger in the duels and continued to look dangerous. Onisiwo rattled the cross bar with a powerful shot from 18 yards out in the 70th minute. The Zerofivers continued to defend well and saw the game out in a professional manner. Robin Zentner was a spectator for most the contest, but was called upon in the 80th minute, when a deflected Lewandowski effort nearly crept in. The referee blew for full time and Mainz came away deserved winners.

An unforgettable afternoon for Mainz

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