Leandro Barreiro scored an injury-time winner as Mainz snatched all three points away at Cologne in a massive result at the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
There was little feeling of a tight relegation clash as Ondrej Duda fired over a volley with less than two minutes on the clock at the RheinEnergieStadion. It was Mainz, though, who took an early lead as they broke forward through Barreiro, who laid the ball off to Jean-Paul Boetius to strike sweetly off the underside of Timo Horn's crossbar. It was a wake-up call for Cologne who dominated the remainder of the first half with a total of 14 shots - the most they have managed in a half this season. Two of those came in as many minutes for Sebastian Andersson, first dragging wide after turning onto a long ball forward before placing an effort just wide of the near post after latching onto a diagonal ball from the left. The home side were finally level shortly before the break when Phillipp Mwene was penalised for handball in the box after a VAR review, and Duda just got the better of Robin Zentner diving low to his right.
The second half got off to a slower start after a lengthy stoppage due to a serious head injury to Jonathan Burkardt, but it sparked back to life on the hour mark. The Billy Goats had continued to dominate and were only denied by a combination of Zentner and crossbar from a Marius Wolf header. They finally took the head when Jonas Hector's free-kick into the box from wide on the left went all the way through for Ellyes Skhiri to turn home. The advantage lasted less than five minutes, though, when Mwene slipped in Boetius down the left, who squared across to the far post for Karim Onisiwo to tuck away and level things once again. Despite their dominance, Cologne were hit one final, telling time late on as Mwene's cutback was met by Barreiro, who drilled home into the bottom corner and move Mainz up to 14th - five points clear of Cologne in the automatic relegation places. The Billy Goats remain three points off Arminia Bielefeld in the play-off spot.
- Boetius got his first goal of the season and first since 20 June 2020 in a 3-1 win against Werder Bremen.
- Duda has converted all three of his penalties in the Bundesliga, which have all come in his last four games. He and Skhiri joined Elvis Rexhbecaj as Cologne’s top scorers on five goals.
- Barreiro's only previous Bundesliga goal also gave them a 3-2 win, on that occasion against RB Leipzig.
- Twenty-two attempts on goal was the most by Cologne this season.
- Mainz won away at Cologne for the first time ever in the Bundesliga at the 10th attempt.
- Bo Svensson has 22 points from his 14 Bundesliga games in charge of Mainz, as Jürgen Klopp once had. Only Thomas Tuchel has had a better return (23 points).
Watch: Barreiro: "Every player wants to score a goal like that"
Cologne: T. Horn – Ehizibue (Jakobs 46'), Mere (Bornauw 78'), Czichos, Katterbach (J. Horn 46') - Skhiri, Hector (c) - Wolf, Duda (Rexhbecaj 69'), Kainz - Andersson (Arokodare 76')
Unused subs: Zieler, Meyer, Özcan, Drexler
Out: Thielmann (muscular)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Mainz: Zentner - St. Juste, Bell, Niakhate (c) - da Costa, Barreiro (Hack 90'+7), Kohr, Mwene - Boetius (Latza 79') - Onisiwo (Quaison 79'), Burkardt (Szalai 55')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Öztunali, Glatzel, Kunde, Stöger
Out: Brosinski (ankle), Kilian (thigh), Nebel (foot)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Watch: Boetius: "It was a big six-pointer!"