1. FSV Mainz 05 survived a late onslaught to beat ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in Saturday’s Rhine-Main derby.
Searching for their first win in three league matches, Eintracht made the worst possible start as Pablo De Blasis was afforded time and space to set up Muto, who lifted the ball over visiting goalkeeper Lukas Hradeky to give Mainz a fifth-minute lead. The visitors responded well, but their hopes of finding a way back into the game suffered a major setback when striker Alexander Meier was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Mainz wasted little time in making their numerical advantage count, Malli slotting into the bottom corner on 42 minutes after fine work from Gonzalo Jairo Samperio.
It was one-way traffic at the beginning of the second half, with Malli twice going close to increasing the hosts’ lead. His deflected free-kick was tipped over the crossbar by Hredecky, who produced another sublime save moments later to stop the young forward’s low drive from nestling in the corner of the net. Seferovic did pull a goal back for Frankfurt just after the hour-mark, but Die Nullfünfer held off some late pressure from the visitors to claim a deserved three points.
Man of the match
Yunus Malli continued his fine start to the 2015/16 campaign with his eighth goal of the campaign against Frankfurt, but there was more to the 23-year-old’s display than just his goal. His passing and creativity in the final third was exceptional and had it not been for some fine goalkeeping from Hradecky in the second half, the Turkey international could have had a hat-trick.
The defeat at the Coface Arena extended their winless run to four games, but the Eagles deserve credit for their second-half performance against Martin Schmidt’s side. They did not let their heads drop after Meier’s dismissal and had Mainz on the back foot the majority of the second period. Unfortunaly for head coach Armin Veh, his side were unable to force an equaliser.
- Muto has scored as many goals in his first 14 Bundesliga appearances as Shinji Kagawa (seven).
- Between them, Malli and Muto have scored 15 of Mainz’s 20 league goals this season.
- Haris Seferovic scored his first goal in six league appearances on Saturday.
Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Hack, Bell, Bentsson - Baumgartlinger (c), Latza - De Blasis (Clemens 86’), Malli (Jara 90’), Samperio - Muto (Niederlechner 81’)
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Hasebe (Kadlec 84’), Zambrano, Abraham, Oczipka - Ignjovski, Medojevic - Aigner (c), Meier, Gacinovic - Seferovic