DEm FSV Mainz 05 are facing very difficult weeks in the relegation battle of the Bundesliga. Coach Bo Svensson’s team not only lost the home game against VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 (0-0) on Tuesday evening, but also has to do without the outgoing Jean-Philippe Mateta for the rest of the season.
In a very weak game, the Polish joker Bartosz Bialek (65th minute) and Wout Weghorst (79th) scored the goals to win, which brings the Lower Saxony very close to the Champions League places. Mainz, on the other hand, remained goalless in the fourth home game in a row and without a win in the ninth home game in a row. Both are negative records in the Bundesliga history of the self-proclaimed carnival club.
The 05ers had to cope with the first shock of the evening before kick-off. Top striker Mateta, who has scored seven goals so far, significantly more than all other Mainz professionals, will no longer play in the Bundesliga in the second half of the season. Head coach Svensson confirmed a report by “Bild”, according to which the 23-year-old Frenchman is already at the medical check in London and is about to move to Crystal Palace.
“If everything goes well, what we assume, it will go over the stage,” said Svensson on the pay TV channel Sky. It will probably initially be loaned for a year and a half. Sports director Martin Schmidt said about the background: “We wanted to make this wish possible for him and not deny him the chance. On the other hand, we now also have something that we can invest. “
The great dependence on Mateta will be a huge challenge for Mainz in the remaining 17 games. Even on the ice-cold January evening, the offensive weaknesses of the Rheinhessen could be seen over 90 minutes. Karim Onisiwo and Jonathan Burkardt (both one goal this season) tried their best, but had a lot of trouble with the compact Wolfsburg defense.
In general, the first quarter of an hour did not offer much action in the duel between the relegation candidate and the European aspirant. The fact that the cue ball had to be replaced after twelve minutes because it was flat seemed like a symbol of the bleak beginning.
It was only Maximilian Arnold, who returned after a red card suspension, that gave the game the first chance with a dangerous free kick (22nd), which just went over the bar. The former Mainz Ridle Baku shot from an acute angle (35th) only to the outside netting. The Mainz team’s chances were in short supply. When Schmidt was presented with a flat ball and a shoe strap as highlights at halftime, he replied: “The game can only get better.”
It hardly was. Even after the break, fouls, nicking and stick errors shaped the game, in which goal area scenes usually only occurred after set pieces. A dream pass from Arnold then brought the decisive impetus, the substitute Bialek came in perfectly and finished without any effort. Mainz remained pale even after the deficit, the Svensson-Elf played like a relegated team. Weghorst ensured the final score.