Mainz netted the second-fastest goal of the Bundesliga season through Jonathan Burkardt and later converted three second-half penalties to see off a dejected Arminia Bielefeld as the 05ers reignited hopes of a European finish.
Mainz 4-0 Bielefeld
Goals: 1-0 Burkardt 1' (assist: Widmer), 2-0 Niakhate (pen.) 65', 3-0 Burkardt (pen.) 75, 4-0 Ingvartsen (pen.) 79'
Bielefeld suffered back-to-back defeats against Mainz in October, the 05ers dumping Frank Kramer's men out of the DFB Cup before picking up maximum points in the teams' subsequent Bundesliga encounter. On both occasions, Burkardt was on target and he was soon showing up in the visitor's waking nightmares once more in this latest encounter. With just 28 seconds on the clock, Burkardt swept home Silvan Widmer's centre from the right and the home fans were celebrating the second quickest goal of the Bundesliga season so far. The visitors' went into this game having lost three on the bounce, a negative sequence that left them perilously placed just one position above the relegation play-off spot. After conceding so quickly at the MEWA Arena, Bielefeld's woes soon seemed to worsen when goalkeeper Stefan Ortega appeared to carry Moussa Niakhate's header over the line. VAR would offer Bielefeld a reprieve, however, while the crossbar offered another soon after, Dominik Kohr's header missing the target by the finest of margins.
Although Patrick Wimmer gave Arminia a glimpse of the target before the break with a low drive that flashed narrowly wide, the game's balance remained largely tilted in Mainz's favour after the restart. Hungry to add to his first goal in 11 games, Burkhardt smashed a shot against the crossbar as Bo Svensson's men turned the screw. Onisiwo then volleyed high from a tight angle as the inevitability of a Mainz second increased. They would have it when Manuel Prietl brought down Leandro Barreiro inside the area and Niakhate calmly slotted the subsequent penalty kick into the corner. When Barreiro then proved too quick for Andres Andrade, who was forced into a foul, the men in red and white had a second penalty, with Burkardt taking over spot-kick duties and proving just as successful. Remarkably, Bielefeld's misery would be complete when Mainz were awarded a third penalty, Prietl again the guilty party with Marcus Ingvartsen this time toppled. The Dane got back to his feet and placed the ball on the spot before sending the home fans into raptures, and Mainz onto their ninth home win of the campaign.
- For the first time in Bundesliga history, three penalties were awarded in the same half of a game. It's also the first time three penalties have been scored by three different players in the same match.
- Burkardt's opener was the second fastest goal this season and his first following an 11-game, top-flight drought.
- The Mainz striker now has nine goals this season.
- Greuther Fürth's Branimir Hrgota registered this season's earliest goal when he scored after 27 seconds against Hertha Berlin on Matchday 22.
- The fastest goal in Mainz's Bundesliga history was scored by Adam Szalai who scored after 12 seconds against Werder Bremen on April 30, 2013.
- Widmer has provided four assists this season. Only Karim Onisiwo (seven) has more at Mainz.
Watch: Svensson: "We're pretty good at taking penalties!"
Mainz: Zentner - Bell, Hack, Niakhate (c) - Widmer, Boetius (Nebel 82'), Kohr (Stöger 82'), Lee (Barreiro 55'), Martin (Lucoqui 82') - Onisiwo, Burkardt (Ingvartsen 76')
Unused subs: Rieß, Brosinski, Papela
Out: Burgzorg (heart), Dahmen (ankle), Stach (suspended), St. Juste (shoulder), Tauer (concussion)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Bielefeld: Ortega (c) - de Medina, Pieper, Andrade, Bello - Schöpf, Vasiliadis (Prietl 46') - Wimmer, Okugawa (Krüger 72'), Hack - Lasme (Klos 46')
Unused subs: Kapino, Ramos, Nilsson, Ince, Serra
Out: Brunner (suspended), Castro (not included), Kunze (not included), Laursen (not included)
Coach: Frank Kramer
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