Goals from Jae-sung Lee, Alexander Hack, Silvan Widmer and Jean-Paul Boetius did the job for Mainz in a thumping 4-0 victory at home to Hertha Berlin on Matchday 16.
Mainz went into the game nursing a 2-1 reverse against Bayern Munich at the weekend, but began as if determined to get it out of their system. After wrestling control of the game, it wasn’t long before they took the lead when Moussa Niakhate’s deep cross from the left was headed back across goal by Widmer for Lee to nod over the line from close range. Matters went from bad to worse for Hertha when in-form striker Stevan Jovetic, who had three goals in two games before kick-off, was forced off with a calf injury. A frustrating first half was compounded shortly before the break when Hack drilled a low first-time shot back across goal and into the bottom corner to give the hosts a deserved cushion at the interval.
Any hopes Hertha might have had of a comeback were soon dashed in the second half when Aaron Martin found space on the left wing to cross into the box, where Widmer arrived at the back post to thunder home a header. There was precious little to see from the away side in the final third - they managed just one shot on target all game – while Mainz waited patiently for more openings to arrive. Alexander Schwolow made a superb save to keep out Martin’s goal-bound drive from range, but there was nothing he could do to prevent Mainz’s fourth. Second-half substitute Boetius played a one-two on the edge of the area with Paul Nebel before rifling a shot into the top corner to complete a comprehensive victory for Bo Svensson’s men.
- Lee scored his first headed goal in the Bundesliga, and first on home turf.
- Widmer now has three assists this term - only Karim Onisiwo (five) has more at the club.
- Hertha have conceded eight headers this season; only bottom club Fürth (10) have let in more.
- The last time Mainz scored two headers in a league game was on Matchday 33 of the 2016/17 season in a 4-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
- This is Mainz's biggest win of the season, having previously beaten Augsburg 4-1 on Matchday 9. The last time they posted such a large margin of victory was on 17 December 2019 in a 5-0 triumph in Bremen.
- Boetius ended a 14-game goal drought to net for the first time in the Bundesliga this season.
Watch: Boetius: "Hertha didn't stand a chance against us"
Mainz: Zentner - Bell, Hack, Niakhate (c) – Widmer (Brosinski 75'), Barreiro (Stöger 77'), Stach, Lee (Boetius 63'), Martin – Burkardt (Nebel 75'), Onisiwo (Ingvartsen 62')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Nemeth, Papela, Tauer
Out: Kohr (thigh), Lucoqui (knee), St. Juste (shoulder)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Hertha: Schwolow – Zeefuik (Richter 46'), Boyata (c), Stark, Plattenhardt – Tousart (Boateng 46'), Ascacibar, Serdar (Maolida 56') – Darida, Belfodil (Piatek 69'), Jovetic (Selke 31')
Unused subs: Christensen, Mittelstädt, Torunarigha, Ekkelenkamp
Out: M. Dardai (muscular), Jarstein (knee), Klünter (shoulder), Pekarik (muscular)
Coach: Tayfun Korkut
Watch: Svensson: "We controlled the game from start to finish"
Bielefeld vs. Hamburg: team news
Masaya Okugawa and Bielefeld are bidding for a first win of the new season when they host Robert Glatzel and Hamburg.
Kimmich, Nkunku, Mane and Haller on Ballon d'Or shortlist
The Bundesliga quartet are among the candidates for the award, while several more of the league's stars are in the running for separate honours.
Leipzig vs. Cologne: team news
Germany striker Timo Werner is back in the Bundesliga and will be looking to outshine Sargis Adamyan on Saturday.