Florian Niederlechner scored inside the first minute to move Augsburg a step closer to safety, while Mainz slipped further into danger.
Augsburg wasted no time getting to work and took the lead after just 43 seconds when Mainz cleared a throw-in only as far as Carlos Gruezo, who headed over the defence into the box and a stretching Niederlechner bounced it over Florian Müller in goal to end a 10-match drought and reach a new personal best of 12 goals this season. The first half was disrupted halfway through when Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi clashed heads with Felix Uduokhai when going up for a ball. The Nigerian had to be stretchered off after several minutes of treatment and luckily was conscious when taken to the hospital. Ruben Vargas then fired wide on a counter-attack before Mainz found their feet. Jean-Philippe Mateta twice came close, first seeing an effort cleared off the line by Philipp Max after rounding Andreas Luthe and then having a close-range header from a corner tipped over by the goalkeeper’s quick reactions.
It was almost deja-vu at the beginning of the second half, though, as Augsburg came within inches of a second when Vargas had an effort deflected onto the roof of net less than three minutes after the restart. The Switzerland international then came closest again after Noah Sarenren Bazee’s cutback, but could only curl his effort wide of the post. The hosts dominated in every statistical area except on the scoreboard and know they were undone by one early lapse in concentration. The result leaves the 05ers just three points clear of safety with three games remaining. Augsburg, on the other hand, know they are all but guaranteed Bundesliga football in 2020/21 with a seven-point cushion over the relegation play-off spot.
- Niederlechner ended a run of 857 minutes without a goal. His tally of 12 is now a personal best in the Bundesliga.
- It was the seventh time Augsburg have scored in the first minute of a Bundesliga game, and the third this season. This, however, was the slowest of the three. Niederlechner netted after 31 seconds against Borussia Dortmund on the opening day, and Marco Richter after 29 against Bayern Munich in October.
- Three goals in the first minute of games equals the Bundesliga record held jointly by Duisburg (1974/75) and Saarbrücken (1985/86).
- Augsburg have scored 42 goals this season. The only time they’ve had more after 31 Bundesliga matchdays was in 2018/19 (47).
- Mainz have conceded 63 goals this term. They had never before let in more than 57 in an entire Bundesliga campaign (in 2006/07 and 2018/19).
- Thirty-one points from 31 games equals Mainz’s second-lowest total in the Bundesliga (set twice under Jürgen Klopp in 2005/06 and 2006/07). They’ve only had fewer at this stage in 2017/18 (30 under Sandro Schwarz).
Watch: Niederlechner: "I never doubted myself"
Mainz: Müller – Mwene (Baku 46’), St. Juste, Niakhate, Brosinski – Barreiro (Boetius 65’), Latza (c) (Fernandes 77')- Öztunali (Szalai 76'), Quaison, Awoniyi (Onisiwo 23’) - Mateta
Unused subs: Dahmen, Hack, Kunde, Burkardt
Out: Ji (back), Zentner (knee)
Coach: Achim Beierlorzer
Augsburg: Luthe – Framberger (Jedvaj 70’), Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Max - Khedira (c), Gruezo (Oxford 78') - Sarenren Bazee (Hahn 62’), Richter (Finnbogason 62’), Vargas – Niederlechner (Löwen 70’)
Unused subs: Koubek, Lichtsteiner, Götze, Suchy
Out: Cordova (muscular), Giefer (foot), Iago (muscular), Moravek (muscular)
Coach: Heiko Herrlich
Watch: Brosinski on Awoniyi: "We hope it's nothing serious"