Mainz blow title race wide open with stunning Bayern Munich win


Mainz hit three second-half goals to claim a memorable comeback victory over leaders Bayern Munich and hand Borussia Dortmund the initiative in the Bundesliga title race.

Mainz 3-1 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Mane 29' (assist: Cancelo), 1-1 Ajorque 65', 2-1 Barreiro 73' (assist: Onisiwo), 3-1 Martin 79' (assist: Hanche-Olsen)

Coming into the game on a nine-match unbeaten run, Mainz immediately showed they had no reason to fear the champions, pressing Bayern hard and going close as Silvan Widmer headed over. The visitors soon got into their usual swift passing rhythm though, and Sadio Mane dinked a shot over Robin Zentner and in, only for an offside flag to save the 05ers. The hosts defended well until Joao Cancelo’s cross found an unmarked Mane at the far post, and he gladly nodded his side into the lead. The champions briefly threatened to run away with the game at that stage, during a phase of ferocious attacking that saw Jamal Musiala head wide. Mainz managed to regroup though, and kept the half-time deficit to a single goal. They also offered an increased threat of their own towards the end of the period, with Karim Onisiwo slipping when one-on-one with Yann Sommer.

Bayern wanted to build on their good first-half showing, stringing together more testing attacking moves, but Mainz's Ludovic Ajorque had the first shot of the second period - which he snapped wide at the near post. Birthday boy Aaron Martin and Thomas Müller both fizzed shots wide as the game began to open up. The hosts got the reward for their application as Sommer tipped a Jae-sung Lee shot into the path of the onrushing Ajorque, who nodded in from close range. Buoyed by the leveller, Mainz pushed on again and sent their stadium wild when Onisiwo slipped the ball across with strong hold-up play for Leandro Barreiro to slot in their second. The fans were even more delirious minutes later as Martin celebrated turning 26 by cracking in a crisp shot in from the corner of the box, after good work from Andreas Hanche-Olsen. The visitors looked stunned to have fallen behind so quickly, and offered little late pressure as Mainz sealed a sensational win that allowed Dortmund to go top with victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in Saturday's late game.

Match stats

  • Ajorque has scored in four consecutive Bundesliga matches and has six in his last eight appearances.
  • Barreiro also scored in last season's 3-1 home win against Bayern. They're the only Bundesliga club he has scored two goals against.
  • Bo Svensson has won his first three Bundesliga home matches against Bayern as Mainz coach. He also beat Bayern three times as a Mainz player - meaning he has been involved in six of the club's seven wins against the record champions.
  • Mane's goal was the first he has scored in the Bundesliga since Bayern hammered Mainz 6-2 in October.
  • Cancelo also assisted Bayern's opening goal when they won 4-0 on their last visit to Mainz - in the DFB Cup in February.
  • Bayern have failed to win any of their past four competitive matches - for the first time in over four years.

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Mainz: Zentner - Fernandes (Hack 83'), Bell, Hanche-Olsen - Widmer (c), Barreiro, Kohr, Caci (Martin 46') - Lee (Barkok 77'), Onisiwo - Ajorque (Ingvartsen 77')
Unused subs: Dahmen, da Costa, Stach, Burgzorg, Weiper
Out: Burkardt (knee)
Coach: Bo Svensson

Bayern: Sommer - Stanisic, Upamecano, de Ligt - Cancelo, Kimmich (Gravenberch 74'), Musiala (Gnabry 80'), Goretzka, Davies (Mazraoui 9') - Müller (c) (Tel 75'), Mane (Sane 80')
Unused subs: Ulreich, Blind, Coman
Out: Choupo-Moting (knee), Hernandez (knee), Neuer (broken leg), Pavard (suspended)
Coach: Thomas Tuchel

Watch: Thomas Müller: "We're knocked psychologically"