bundesliga

History boy Florian Wirtz fires Bayer Leverkusen past Mainz

Florian Wirtz made history as the youngest player to reach 10 Bundesliga goals with his match-winner for Bayer Leverkusen against Mainz.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Wirtz (61')

Leverkusen had Lukas Hradecky to thank for not falling behind in the opening stages. The Finland internatinal stood up to former Bayer midfielder Dominik Kohr’s close-range strike and made a flying save to thwart Jonathan Burkardt’s low attempt from the ensuing corner. Patrik Schick put the ball in the net against the run of play, but the Leverkusen striker’s effort was ruled out for an offside decision against Moussa Diaby in the build-up. Wirtz and Mitchel Bakker stung the palms of Robin Zentner as Die Werkself went in at the break very much in the ascendancy.

Gerardo Seoane’s side cranked up the pressure after the restart, with Zentner diving to his left to beat away Diaby’s dipping shot. The Mainz custodian then clawed away a Karim Bellarabi cross destined for the head of Schick, but was powerless to prevent Wirtz around the hour. The 18-year-old combined with Jeremie Frimpong, before arrowing a precision-perfect strike into the bottom corner. Zentner was beaten again moments later, but Bayer substitute Amine Adli's near-post finish was chalked off for an earlier infringement. Hradecky denied Marcus Ingvartsen late on as Leverkusen clinched a narrow win that lifts them into the top three.

Match stats

  • Wirtz has reached 10 Bundesliga goals, aged 18 years, four months and 23 days. Lukas Podolski was the previous record holder.
  • Wirtz has scored in four successive Bundesliga matches. He had assisted in four on the spin prior to the game.
  • Frimpong registered his second assist of the season.
  • Leverkusen have scored at least once in their last 15 Bundesliga home games, dating back to November 2020.
  • Bayer have collected 22 of a possible 24 points from their last eight Bundesliga meetings with Mainz.
  • Kohr made his 200th Bundesliga appearance. Mainz have only lost one of their 17 games with him in the starting line-up since he joined on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt last year.

Watch: Seoane: “Wirtz is very calm”

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) - Frimpong, Kossounou (Hincapie 66'), Tah, Bakker - Aranguiz, Demirbay - Bellarabi (Adli 61'), Wirtz (Amiri 82'), Diaby (Paulinho 82') - Schick (Alario 82')
Unused subs: Lunev, Retsos, Sinkgraven
Out: Andrich (suspended), Baumgartlinger (knee), Fosu-Mensah (knee), Palacios (ankle), Tapsoba (ankle)
Coach: Gerardo Seoane

Mainz: Zentner (c) - St. Juste, Bell (Nebel 90'+1), Brosinski - Widmer, Barreiro (Stach 66'), Kohr (Lee 75'), Lucoqui - Boetius (Stöger 72') - Burkardt, Onisiwo (Ingvartsen 66')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Martin, Tauer, Nemeth
Out: Hack (unconfirmed), Niakhate (thigh), Szalai (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson