Mainz misses chances before Gladbach turns the game around
Mateta’s double is not enough: Gladbach steals three points at the OPEL ARENA and ensures our fifth defeat of the season
Two Mateta goals before the break, a further improvement in performance and several opportunities to take a two-goal lead after the restart were not enough for Mainz 05 to earn their first points of the season on Saturday afternoon. The Zerofivers’ 2-1 half-time lead then turned into a Borussia Mönchengladbach lead in the second half as they take home three points from the OPEL ARENA. The unlucky 2-3 (2-1) means the Mainz-based team's third home defeat in three attempts this season. The goals for the visitors were scored by Lars Stindl, Jonas Hofmann and Matthias Ginter.
Jan-Moritz Lichte made a change from the narrow defeat against Leverkusen and gave Robin Quaison the start over Jonathan Burkardt. In addition, Karim Onisiwo was absent from the squad, so Kevin Stoeger was named in the squad for the first time, but he didn’t make it onto the pitch.
The Zerofivers produced their first opportunity after just 60 seconds, when a pass from Jean-Paul Boëtius reached Quaison unexpectedly just a few metres in front of goal, where the surprised Swede was put off by Nico Elvedi six metres from goal (2.) It was the start of a good opening spell, in which the Zerofivers showed they were the home team, fought and showed impressive link-up play. After such a combination Mainz 05 came to its next opportunity when Jeremiah St. Juste shot from the edge of the penalty area but Yann Sommer made the save (6). On the opposite side, Patrick Herrmann tested Robin Zentner a little later, but he was also on his guard (7.). Although the Mainz team was the more lively at first, they suffered a bitter setback after a quarter of an hour. Stefan Lainer had time to cross from the right, in the middle Breel Embolo knocked it down to captain Stindl, who did not give Zentner a chance from six metres (15th). Disappointing, but the hosts stayed at it and kept pushing for their first goal. It could have been scored just four minutes after Boëtius, who, after a fine pass from Quaison into the open space, appeared free before Sommer, but had his shot saved in the bottom right corner (19th). Four minutes later, however, the Swiss national goalkeeper had no chance when a successful move led to the equaliser: Latza played Quaison in, who could only hit the post, but Mateta finished it off from close range - 1-1 (23.).
After half an hour it was a respectable game in the OPEL ARENA, with Mainz on level terms with the always dangerous Gladbach. In the 31st minute the next opportunity for the Foals came out of nowhere. After a long ball Herrmann volleyed and hit the crossbar. But the Zerofivers for their part continued to attack and shortly afterwards took a deserved lead. After a ball from Sommer on the right side, the home team read it early and Levin Öztunali won the ball. Mateta controlled the cross in the middle of his chest, turned and beat the keeper - adding his second goal of the game (36.). Thanks to Zentner reacting brilliantly against Herrmann just before the break (45.), Mainz held a tight lead at half-time.
Öztunali fails against Sommer - a former Mainz player brings the turnaround
After the restart - both teams came out of the changing rooms unchanged - the visitors had the better start and just missed the equalising twice in the 51st minute: First Zentner reacted brilliantly after a Herrmann chip, and Moussa Niakhaté cleared on the line - a break for Mainz! On the other side, Quaison tried one minute later, but didn't cause any problems from 14 metres (52nd). The next opportunity also belonged to the red-whites and it was a tough one. A great chip from Kunde reached Öztunali, but he failed from close range as Sommer saved (57.). The game remained open, but there were no further big opportunities for either side. The Gladbachers made an early change and brought on the two goalscorers Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram after just under an hour, but the 05 defence remained strong for a long time, and prevented any dangerous attacks. In the 68th minute Burkardt, who had just been replaced, tried to do so, but his aim was off, whereas the cross to Edimilson Fernandes would probably have been the better decision. For Gladbach, Lainer tried a minute later, whose deflected shot landed on top of the net (69.).
What was not expected at the start of the second half, happened nevertheless: After a missed pass from Niakhaté in the build-up of play, the guests moved the ball quickly, Thuram shot and hit the arm of the Frenchman who had hurried back and referee Frank Willenborg pointed to the spot. The former Mainz player Hofmann did not miss the opportunity and converted from the penalty spot to equalise (76.). The game was open again. And the visitors made up for it. Seven minutes before the end, a Hofmann corner caught national team player Ginter at the near post, who headed the ball into the bottom right corner and made it 2-3. A disappointing turn of events in this game, in which Mainz put in a good performance over long stretches, but missed the chance to extend its narrow lead. This sting was deep and Zentner saved in the 87th minute against Plea and Lainer to prevent it being 2-4. The Zerofivers did not come back into the game and by losing 2-3 still have even no points to their name. Next weekend the Lichte team will face FC Augsburg.