There was no separating VfB Stuttgart and Mainz, with the teams settling for a point apiece after an improved second-half showing.
Mainz may have lost their last three games prior to this Matchday 30 encounter, but those reverses were all on the road. The 05ers have been a different prospect at the at the Mewa Arena, where Bo Svensson's men boast one of the league's best home records. Stuttgart's challenge to ease their relegation woes with a result here was thus always going to prove a difficult one. Yet it was the visitors who showed more urgency during an opening half of few chances. There was almost an opening when Tiago Tomas, showing some crafty, quick thinking during a move in which he linked up with Waldemar Anton, crossed for the returning Sasa Kalajdzic who scooped harmlessly over the top. As the sun shone brightly down on a packed and buzzing stadium, most of the action appeared to be taking place in the stands. Down on the field, Orel Mangala looked to quieten the home mood, the Belgian powering through on the right before lifting a tasty shot high towards Robin Zentner's left-hand post. But for the 'keeper's subsequent dive and brilliant parry, Stuttgart would have ended the half in front.
Stuttgart previously picked up just one away win all season, but Pellegrino Matarazzo's men sensed a second was on here as they started the second half with increased urgency. Tomas tested Zentner's reflexes from close range, the Mainz man prevailing with a solid save. His confidence high as a result, Zentner came out of his area soon afterwards in attempt to clear, However, the Mainz goalie collided with Stefan Bell and looked on in horror as the ball dropped invitingly for Chris Führich. To Zentner's relief, the Stuttgart midfielder fired wide with the goal at his mercy. The scare finally spurred the 05ers into action and they went mightily close to taking the lead when Dominik Kohr's header from an Anton Stach corner bounced off the inside of the upright and into the arms of the grateful Florian Müller. Marcus Ingvartsen then smashed wide after his initial free-kick had hit the wall. The Dane - on as a second-half sub - then volleyed over as the game headed towards its conclusion. The point leaves Mainz still dreaming of Europe while for Stuttgart, focus turns to next week, and a huge encounter against fellow strugglers Hertha Berlin.
- Stuttgart have been on the receiving end of 14 efforts against their own woodwork this term, more than any other team.
- Mainz have won six of their last eight home games and boast the league’s meanest home defence with only eight goals conceded.
- The 05ers’ 31 points at the Mewa Arena is three more than Stuttgart have all season (home or away).
- Stuttgart are winless in eight away outings (D4, L4). Their only victory on the road this season was at Wolfsburg on Matchday 15.
- Zentner has recorded a joint league high 10 shutouts in 2021/22. Florian Müller kept his fourth clean sheet of the season.
- Svensson will oversee his 50th match as a Bundesliga coach next week.
Mainz: Zentner – Tauer, Bell, Niakhate (c) – Widmer, Stach, Kohr (Barreiro 69'), Lucoqui – Boetius - Burkardt, Onisiwo (Ingvartsen 62')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Nemeth, Brosinski, Papela, Stöger, Nebel, Bobzien
Out: Burgzorg (heart), Hack (ankle), Lee (knee), Martin (suspended), St. Juste (shoulder)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Stuttgart: Müller - Stenzel, Mavropanos, Ito, Sosa - Mangala (Millot 83'), Anton (c), Führich (Thommy 83') - Tomas (Massimo 74'), Kalajdzic, Marmoush (Tibidi 58')
Unused subs: Bredlow, Bazzoli, Beyaz, Förster, Coulibaly
Out: Ahamada (broken toe), Didavi (Achilles), Endo (not included), Karazor (suspended), Nartey (knee), Sankoh (knee), Silas (shoulder)
Coach: Pellegrino Matarazzo
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