Robin Quaison scored a hat-trick to give Mainz a much-needed win away to Hertha Berlin, who ended the Matchday 21 meeting in the German capital with 10 men.
Hertha had been taking to extra-time in the DFB Cup round of 16 in midweek, losing a gruelling game 3-2 to Bundesliga rivals Schalke. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann nevertheless left wing duo Javairo Dilrosun and Dodi Lukebakio - second-half substitutes in Gelsenkirchen - on the bench once more. Mainz were certainly the more sprightly in an open first half, despite seeing less of the ball. Quaison offered a constant attacking outlet, and took his first meaningful chance by beating Niklas Stark to Levin Öztunali's through-ball and dispatching his finish with aplomb. The Sweden international had the chance to move onto double figures for the campaign soon after, but Hertha got men back to avert the danger.
The half-time introduction of Dilrosun and Lukebakio injected some welcome purpose into Hertha's game, but other than fending off a few teasing balls into the box the Mainz rearguard were largely untroubled. Arne Maier shot into the side-netting from the edge of the box, while Adam Szalai spurned the visitors' best opening when he headed Aaron Martin's left-wing cross over. As the game became stretched, Quaison met substitute Karim Onisiwo's inch-perfect cross to double his tally from close range. Dedryck Boyata flicked a corner past Robin Zentner to set up a grandstand finish, but Marius Wolf's late red card played into Mainz's hand. An injury-time decision to send Boyata off for a foul on Onisiwo was downgraded following a VAR review, before Quaison dispatched the ensuing penalty to complete his hat-trick and draw a line under a four-match losing run.
- Mainz picked up their first points of 2020.
- Quaison has been Mainz's most reliable source of goals with 11.
- The 05ers have only lost one of their last seven Bundesliga meetings with Hertha, picking up 17 of a possible 21 points since April 2017.
- Since Klinsmann stepped into the dugout, the Old Lady have picked up 12 points from nine games. They took 11 from 12 matches under his predecessor Ante Covic.
- Hertha's Krzysztof Piatek made his full Bundesliga debut.
Watch: Piatek: "We're in the building phase"
Hertha: Jarstein - Stark (Lukebakio 46'), Boyata, Torunarigha - Wolf, Maier, Ascacibar, Grujic (Dilrosun 46'), Mittelstädt - Köpke (Ibisevic 72'), Piatek
Unused subs: Kraft, Skjelbred, Rekik, Darida, Klünter, Plattenhardt
Out: Cunha (international duty)
Coach: Jürgen Klinsmann
Mainz: Zentner - St. Juste, Bruma, Niakhate - Öztunali, Baku, Latza (c) (Kunde 75'), Barreiro, Brosinski (Martin 66') - Quaison - Szalai (Onisiwo 81')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Boetius, Mateta, Ji, Burkhardt, Mwene
Out: Bell (ankle), Fernandes (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer