bundesliga

Wolfsburg extend unbeaten start with victory in Mainz

Wolfsburg maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a deserved 1-0 victory away to Mainz on Saturday.

Mainz 0-1 Wolfsburg
Goal: 0-1 Tisserand (9')

The Wolves had gone behind in each of their previous three Bundesliga outings before fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw, and they very nearly conceded first once again when Jean-Paul Boetius stung Pavao Pervan's palms early on. However, Marcel Tisserand ensured history would not repeat itself a fourth time when he outmuscled his marker to guide a header into the net following a short corner routine. Wout Weghorst almost doubled the visitors' advantage with an instinctive first-time shot that drew a superb point-blank save from goalkeeper Robin Zentner, but Wolfsburg did not have things all their own way, with Pervan twice called into action again before the break to keep out Boetius and Robin Quaison.

The visitors remained on top in the second period, with Weghorst twice going close in the opening minutes of the half. Subsequently, however, the Wolves' efforts at extending their lead invariably broke down due to a lack of precision with decisive passes. They did manage to prevent Mainz from building up a head of steam, though, and Pervan was rarely called into action until the closing stages, when a last-minute goal-line clearance from Tisserand was needed to prevent Adam Szalai from equalising. In truth, a draw would have been harsh on the away side, who remain as one of just two teams, alongside Bayern Munich, without defeat this term.

Tisserand's goal was the first header Wolfsburg have scored this season, and their first by a defender. - imago images/Jan Huebner

Match stats

  • Jeffrey Bruma made his first Bundesliga appearance – and first start – of the season here. His last top-flight outing for the Wolves was in May 2018.
  • Tisserand did not score at all in his first 51 Bundesliga matches, but now has two in his last six.
  • His goal was Wolfsburg's first from a defender this season, and also their first headed goal.
  • Wolfsburg's previous 10 goals in all competitions had either been scored or set up by Weghorst or Josip Brekalo – Maximilian Arnold got the assist for Tisserand here.
  • This was Mainz's first loss at home to Wolfsburg in their last nine Bundesliga meetings at the Opel Arena (W2, D6, L1).
  • The last time the Wolves won in Mainz was in January 2011.

Line-ups

Mainz: Zentner - Pierre-Gabriel (Maxim 62'), St. Juste, Niakhate, Brosinski (c) - Fernandes (Awoniyi 76'), Kunde, Baku - Boetius - Szalai, Quaison (Onisiwo 45')
Unused subs: Müller, Öztunali, Meier, Burkardt, Martins, Hack
Out: Bell (ankle), Ji (knee), Latza (groin), Martin (groin), Mateta (knee)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz

Wolfsburg: Pervan – Tisserand, Knoche, Bruma - William, Guilavogui (c), Arnold (Gerhardt 71'), Roussillon - Mehmedi (Victor 84'), Brekalo (Klaus 65') – Weghorst
Unused subs: Menzel, Steffen, Malli, Mbabu, Nmecha, Rexhbecaj
Out: Brooks (hamstring), Camacho (ankle), Casteels (shin), Ginczek (back), Otavio (match fitness), Schlager (broken ankle)
Coach: Oliver Glasner