Wout Weghorst set a Wolfsburg club scoring record after substitute Bartosz Bialek had broken the deadlock as the Wolves defeated struggling Mainz 2-0 on Tuesday to reclaim a place in the top six.
Wolfsburg had seen Mönchengladbach move ahead of them and knock them out of the top six earlier in the evening. With Mainz on an eight-game winless streak, there seemed no better place for Oliver Glasner's men to improve their own stuttering form of just a single victory in their last five Bundesliga outings, and reinforce their claim on a place guaranteeing European football next season. In the first half, however, stuttering is what they were. Maximilian Arnold, back from suspension after sitting out the weekend draw with RB Leipzig, bent a free-kick onto the top of the net, while ex-Mainz man Ridle Baku rifled a low shot into the side-netting, but the visitors were unable to get top scorer Weghorst into the game.
Neither side managed to muster a shot on goal in the first half, and Maximilian Philipp's header across goal and a Josip Brekalo free-kick that almost found Weghorst did not change that. The first effort on target came from Bialek, who had replaced Brekalo just five minutes earlier, when the teenage Polish forward swept the ball past Robin Zentner after a wonderful chance-creating pass from Arnold. Weghorst then wrapped up the three points after Alexander Hack miscued an attempted back-pass, allowing the Netherlands international striker to break clear and chip Zentner to move second only to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga scoring charts on 12 goals for the campaign.
- Weghorst, who netted his very first shot of the game, set a new Hinrunde club scoring record with his 12th strike in the opening 17 matches of the 2020/21 campaign. It took him 28 games last term - when he finished with 16 goals - to reach the same tally.
- Bialek has now scored two league goals this season, both after coming off the bench.
- Arnold has a team-high four league assists.
- Mainz are 10 matches without a win against Wolfsburg, dating back to a 2-0 triumph in November 2015. They've also failed to score in their last five.
Watch: Weghorst on setting a new club record
Mainz: Zentner - Hack, Bell (Szalai 74'), Niakhate - Öztunali (Tauer 62'), Latza (c), Barreiro, Mwene - Boetius (Kohr 61') - Onisiwo, Burkardt (Quaison 82')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Ji, Kilian, Stöger, Papela,
Out: Brosinski (knee), Fernandes (not included), Kunde (knee), St. Juste (thigh)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku (Gerhardt 74'), Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio - Schlager, Arnold (Guilavogui 87') - Brekalo (Bielke 60'), Philipp (Mbabu 74'), Steffen - Weghorst (Mehmedi 87')
Unused subs: Pervan, William, Ginczek, Joao Victor,
Out: Bruma (not included), Roussillon (not included)
Coach: Oliver Glasner