bundesliga

Max Kruse hat-trick as Wolfsburg cruise past Mainz

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A hat-trick from Max Kruse and a blustery brace from Jonas Wind saw Wolfsburg cruise past Mainz with a 5-0 win in Friday night.

Wolfsburg 5-0 Mainz
Goals: 1-0 Wind 8', 2-0 Kruse (pen. 24'), 3-0 Kruse 35' (assist: Baku), 4-0 Wind 42', 5-0 Kruse 45'+2 (assist: Gerhardt)
Red card: Tauer 23'

It took Wolfsburg just eight minutes to announce the forecast for the evening, Wind breezing into the right spot to tap the ball home after Lukas Nmecha’s audacious back heel had come back off the post and the back of goalkeeper Robin Zentner. The visitors had a golden chance to level when Jonathan Burkardt dispossessed Sebastiaan Bornauw but was denied by the outstretched leg of Koen Casteels. Mainz were reduced to 10 men on 23 minutes when Niklas Tauer was shown red on review for tugging back Nmecha as he ran into the box. Kruse stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot. His second was all about finesse as he met a Ridle Baku cross to the far post on the volley and guided past Zentner. It reached a 4 on the Beaufort scale inside the Volkswagen Arena shortly before half-time when Wind got his first Bundesliga brace by taking advantage of the visitors’ inability to clear their lines and pouncing from close range. And the Wolves finally reached cruising speed in added time when Kruse rounded off his hat-trick by latching onto Yannick Gerhardt’s ball in from the left.

Mainz boss Bo Svensson rang the changes at the break, sending on four new faces. And the 10 men made a good fist of things. Burkardt again pounced on uncertainty at the back but was denied by Casteels from a tight angle. Leandro Barreiro also had a wayward go, while Baku, Wind and substitute Bartosz Bialek had efforts at the other end. Karim Onisiwo forced another save out of Casteels late on, but the match was long gone by this point as the Wolves saw out the game with a clean sheet, all but ending any relegation concerns and moving to two points off Mainz, whose outside chances of European qualification were also effectively brought to an end with three games to go.

Match stats

  • Kruse got his first Bundesliga hat-trick since November 2017 (for Werder Bremen against Hannover). The last Wolfsburg player to score three goals in a game was Josip Brekalo (vs. Union Berlin last season).
  • Kruse now has 12 Bundesliga goals for the Wolves, meaning he’s got double figures for five different clubs (also Freiburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bremen and Union). Bruno Labbadia is the only other player to have scored 10+ goals for five different clubs, in fact doing so for six.
  • It was the first time Wolfsburg had scored five goals in the first half of a Bundesliga game, coming a week after they conceded the same number in the first 45 minutes against Borussia Dortmund.
  • The first goal was the 800th Mainz had conceded in the Bundesliga.
  • It was only the second time the 05ers had trailed by five goals at half-time in the Bundesliga. The other saw them suffer their heaviest top-flight defeat, 8-0 at RB Leipzig in November 2019.
  • Wolfsburg have won back-to-back home league games under Florian Kohfeldt for the first time.

Watch: Kruse: "I could have scored four!"

Line-ups

Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Baku (Mbabu 74’), Bornauw, Brooks, Roussillon - Schlager (F. Nmecha 64’), Arnold, Gerhardt - Wind (Philipp 74’), Kruse (Paredes 81’) - L. Nmecha (Bialek 64’)
Unused subs: Pervan, Vranckx, Steffen, Lukebakio
Out: Lacroix (hamstring), Otavio (knee), Van de Ven (thigh), Waldschmidt (ankle), William (knee)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt

Mainz: Zentner - Tauer, Bell, Niakhate (c) - Widmer, Stach (Papela 46’), Barreiro, Lucoqui (Martin 46’) - Boetius (Kohr 46’) - Ingvartsen (Hack 46’), Burkardt (Onisiwo 72’)
Unused subs: Dahmen, Brosinski, Nemeth, Stöger
Out: Burgzorg (heart), Lee (knee), St. Juste (shoulder)
Coach: Bo Svensson