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Mainz edge five goal thriller in Leverkusen

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Leverkusen and Mainz played out a five goal thriller on Sunday evening at the BayArena. The first half sprang into action in the 23rd minute when Finn Dahmen saved Edmond Tapsoba’s penalty, before Anthony Caci gave FSV the lead (26’). The hosts then leveled through Nadiem Amiri, before Leandro Barreiro restored Mainz’s advantage in first half injury time (45+3). Patrik Schick made it 2-2 shortly before the hour-mark and despite chances for both sides, it looked as if the game would end in draw. With just under 10 minutes remaining, however, the guests were awarded a penalty and Marcus Ingvartsen converted to give his side all three points (82’).

Mainz start well, Dahmen saves a penalty

The Zerofivers started the game well and looked to press their opponents early on. Although the hosts had a couple of early chances through Amiri (7’) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (12’), Mainz were undoubtedly the better side in the opening stages. Svensson’s side, however, failed to make their early pressure count. Kerem Demirbay was presented with a good chance when Leverkusen were awarded a free kick in a promising position, but the 29-year-old hit the wall (20’).

B04 were then awarded a penalty after Anton Stach caught Sardar Azmoun in the area with an outstretched leg. Although there appeared to be minimal contact, the referee pointed to the spot after a lengthy VAR check. Tapsoba stepped up but Mainz keeper Finn Dahmen made a superb save to keep his side level (23’).

FSV take the lead, the hosts respond

Leandro Barreiro came close at the opposite end almost immediately after the penalty (24’) but Mainz didn’t have to wait too long for their opener. Da Costa’s long throw into the penalty area was flicked on by Ajorque and Kouakou Kossounou’s poor clearance fell into the path of Anthony Caci. The Frenchman slotted it home with a sweet first time shot to give his side the lead (26’).

Mainz’s joy was short lived as the guests equalised just five minutes later. Fernandes was caught in possession inside his own half and Amiri finished off a clinical counter attack to make it 1-1 (32’).  The game continued to ebb and flow and both sides enjoyed numerous chances but it was FSV who made it 2-1 shortly before half time.

Barreiro gets the third goal of the game

Anthony Caci played a long, diagonal ball into the penalty area and it was flicked on by Jae-Sung Lee into the path of Leandro Barreiro. The Luxembourger smashed it first time from around 8 yards out to put Mainz 2-1 ahead (45+3).

There was, however, still time for one more twist. The referee pointed to the spot for a second time after Karim Onisiwo was fouled in the penalty area but unfortunately for the away side, the decision was overturned as Stefan Bell had fouled Amine Adli in the build-up (45+8).

Leverkusen equalise

The break seemed to reenergise B04 as they came out for the second half the stronger of the two sides. Schick got the hosts back on level terms just before the hour-mark (58’) when he smashed home a rebound from around eight yards (58’).

Onisiwo nearly restored Mainz’s lead straight away, but his powerful header was kept out by Hradecky (59’). Barreiro came close from the resulting corner but he was also denied by a great stop (60’).

Ingvartsen gets the winner

Mainz enjoyed a good spell after Barreiro’s chance but the game swung the way of Leverkusen as clock ticked on. The decisive moment, however, came inside the final ten minutes when substitute Silvan Widmer was brought down in the penalty area by Adli. Ingvartsen stepped up and kept his cool to slot the ball past Hradecky to put his side 3-2 ahead (82’).

The Zerofivers defended superbly well in the closing stages and they managed to hold on to claim their second successive Bundesliga win. Next up for Mainz is a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, 24th February, 20:30 CET.

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Mainz edge five goal thriller in Leverkusen

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