Hendrik Weydandt scored the only goal of the game as Hannover kept their slim survival hopes alive with a win at home to Mainz.
Hannover 1-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Weydandt (66‘)
Perhaps with the freedom of knowing they are safe from relegation, Mainz started the game on the front foot and had chances early on through Robin Quaison and Karim Onisiwo. That perhaps woke Hannover up and they created opportunities for Jonathas and Nicolai Müller in quick succession, but neither goalkeeper was really tested. Mainz thought they had the lead shortly before the half-hour when Quaison spun in the box and turned the ball past Michael Esser, but it was chalked off on review by referee Sören Storks for a foul. The 05ers continued to have the best of the attacking action as the half progressed and twice forced Esser into good saves, first to deny Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header and then to prevent a certain tap-in from Quaison on the rebound.
The second half began with an ovation for Hannover substitute Edgar Prib, who was making his first appearance since May 2016 after suffering two cruciate ligament injuries. Mainz, however, picked up where they left off and looked the more likely to score, coming closest when Felipe diverted a cross over his own bar. The visitors, though, were the architects of their own downfall as Giulio Donati kept the ball in play before Moussa Niakhate and goalkeeper Florian Müller got in the way of each other, allowing Weydandt the simplest of tap-ins with his first effort on goal. Centre-back Waldemar Anton came close to a second for Hannover with a swivelling effort from a corner that was blocked on the line, but the hosts still held on for just their fourth win of the campaign.
- Hannover’s victory ended a nine-match winless run in the Bundesliga since beating Nuremberg on Matchday 21.
- However, Schalke’s win in Dortmund means Hannover cannot achieve automatic safety - the best they can hope for is a relegation play-off.
- Weydandt is Hannover’s top scorer this season with six goals.
- Five of those six have put the Reds 1-0 up, while this was his first at home.
- Hannover haven’t lost any of their last four Bundesliga games against Mainz (W3, D1). Of the current top-flight sides, the Reds are only on a longer unbeaten run against Freiburg (6 games).
- Mainz have won on just one of their 12 Bundesliga visits to Hannover (D5, L6).
Hannover: Esser – Haraguchi, Anton, Felipe, Ostrzolek – N. Müller (Prib 46’), Schwegler, Bakalorz (c), Maina (Sorg 77’) – Weydandt, Jonathas (Walace 84’)
Unused subs: Sahin-Radlinger, Korb, Wimmer, Muslija
Out: Akpoguma (shoulder), Bebou (thigh), Füllkrug (knee), Hübers (knee), Sarenren Bazee (shin), Wood (knee)
Coach: Thomas Doll
Mainz: F. Müller – Donati (Bungert 87’), Hack, Niakhate, Martin – Gbamin (c), Maxim – Onisiwo, Boetius (Öztunali 71’), Quaison (Ujah 79’) – Mateta
Unused subs: Zentner, Kunde, Brosinski, Baku
Out: Adler (knee), Latza (personal leave), Mwene (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz