bundesliga

Mainz punish wasteful Borussia Mönchengladbach to go fifth

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A brilliant direct free-kick from Aaron Martin handed Mainz their third away win in as many games this season, Bo Svensson’s side snatching a 1-0 victory against a wasteful Borussia Mönchengladbach side on Sunday.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-1 Mainz
Goals: 0-1 Martin (55')
Red card: Itakura (53')

The visitors enjoyed the better start and forced Bayern Munich-tamer Yann Sommer into two excellent early saves from Silvan Widmer and Karim Onisiwo. Their chests puffed after that impressive 1-1 draw with Bayern last week, however, Gladbach gradually wrestled control of proceedings and could have been out of sight by the interval. Marcus Thuram made a nuisance of himself and had seven attempts on goal in the first 45 minutes alone, but a combination of wayward finishing, last-ditch blocks, the crossbar and some fine saves from Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner left the French forward frustrated.

Matters started to unravel yet further for Gladbach early in the second half when Alassane Plea was forced off with an injury. Moments later, centre-back Ko Itakura was shown a straight red card for a professional foul after he brought down Onisiwo just outside the area as the last defender. Mainz immediately took advantage as Martin scored from the ensuing free-kick, curling in a sumptuous effort into the top corner. Jonas Hofmann should have equalised a short while later for the hosts but he failed to make a clean connection with the ball when in a good position inside the area. Substitute Lars Stindl thought he had salvaged a point for the home side in the closing stages with a neat finish from Kouadio Kone's pass but it was ruled out for offside, allowing Mainz to celebrate their third away victory of the campaign in as many outings, while Gladbach slumped to a first defeat under Daniel Farke.

Match stats

  • Sommer made his 267th Bundesliga appearance in this match, overtaking Sweden’s Ronnie Hellström (Kaiserslautern) as the foreign-born goalkeeper with most top-flight outings in Germany.
  • Itakura received his first red card in Germany. It resulted from just his second foul in his fifth Bundesliga outing.
  • Martin scored his second Bundesliga goal. His first was also a direct free-kick, scored in February 2022 against Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Mainz have taken the lead in - and won - all three of their away matches so far this season.
  • They equalled their club record for consecutive victories on the road of four from the start of 2010/11 under Thomas Tuchel.
  • Gladbach lost for the first time this season, having previously won both of their home games.

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Watch: Svensson: "We still have a lot to improve"

Teams

Gladbach: Sommer (c) - Scally (Ngoumou 82'), Itakura, Elvedi (Friedrich 46'), Bensebaini - Kone (Weigl 87'), Kramer, Neuhaus - Hofmann, Thuram, Plea (Stindl 52')
Unused subs: Sippel, Herrmann, Wolf, Netz, Jantschke
Out: Lainer (thigh)
Coach: Daniel Farke

Mainz: Zentner - Bell, Hack, Leitsch (Fernandes 81') - Widmer (c), Kohr, Barreiro (Fulgini 58'), Aaron - Lee (Stach 58') - Burkardt (Burgzorg 76'), Onisiwo (Mustapha 81')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Barkok, Tauer, Caci
Out: da Costa (match fitness), Ingvartsen (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson