Goals from Moussa Niakhate and Pierre Kunde gave Mainz a crucial 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena on Saturday afternoon, moving the 05ers three points clear of the relegation playoff places.
It took just 30 seconds for Martin Hinteregger to try to add to his eight league goals this season and, although the burly defender’s long-range strike rolled harmlessly wide, it was an early sign of intent from the hosts. Frankfurt continued with a swagger, as Almany Toure and Filip Kostic both went close, but for all their dominance, the hosts struggled to carve out clear-cut chances. Following a handful of warnings at the other end from first Robin Quaison and then Taiwo Awoniyi, Niakhate emphatically met Daniel Brosinski’s outswinging corner with a thumping header to put Mainz in front on the stroke of half-time.
Adi Hütter called on substitutes Timothy Chandler and Mijat Gacinovic for the restart and they immediately pressed for an equaliser courtesy of a series of menacing Kostic corners in the early exchanges of the second period. But their blunt edge was still proving costly and Die Adler were only spared a second Mainz goal by the offside flag as Jean-Philippe Mateta strayed ever so slightly before applying a clinical finish that would have been his third goal of the season. The home side were riding their luck, with Quaison having an equally accomplished breakaway goal almost identically chalked out with just over 20 minutes to play. Mainz didn't have to wait long finally to add a legitimate second, substitute Kunde racing through and sliding the ball underneath Kevin Trapp to wrap up a vital three points in their bid for survival.
- Frankfurt have now lost their previous two Bundesliga matches at home against Mainz by a score of 2-0.
- Eintracht's leading provider Kostic (nine assists) netted his first Bundesliga goal in a 1-1 draw at Mainz while playing for Stuttgart in December 2014, but the Serbia international has now won just one of 12 meetings with the 05ers.
- Frankfurt now haven't won at home for four matches.
- Mainz had gone five matches without a win (D3, L2) prior to kick-off and this was their first victory since the restart. It also ends a run of three games without an away victory.
- Niakhate's goal was only his second in the Bundesliga and first since his maiden effort in the 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig on 3 May, 2019. It was also Niakhete's first Bundesliga goal away from home.
- This was Mainz coach Achim Beierlorzer's sixth win since taking over in November last year. It was their fourth away win under Beierlorzer but first since 8 February.
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Frankfurt: Trapp - Ilsanker, Hasebe (c), Hinteregger - Toure (Chandler 46'), Kohr (Sow 82'), Rode (De Guzman 81'), Kostic - Kamada - Dost (Gacinovic 46'), Silva
Unused subs: Rönnow, N'Dicka, Torro Marset, Abraham, Da Costa
Out: G. Fernandes (calf), Paciencia (thigh)
Coach: Adi Hütter
Mainz: Müller - Brosinski, St Juste, Niakhate, Mwene - Barreiro (Kunde 64'), Latza (c) - Awoniyi, Öztunali (Fernandes 75'), Quaison (Szalai 90+3') - Mateta (Onisiwo 75')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Martin, Boëtius, Bruma, Hack
Out: Baku (suspended), Ji (back), Zentner (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer