Mainz - Mainz 05 leapfrogged Stuttgart to move into the European places with an ultimately comprehensive home victory against a tired-looking Stuttgart.
Top of the stops
Nicolai Müller and Elkin Soto grabbed the goals as Mainz recorded their sixth home win of the season.
The visitors could have gone into the winter break in third with a win, but Mainz had designs of their own on a place in the top seven and duly carved out several early opportunities.
Their dominance almost paid dividends after eleven minutes, but Sven Ulreich brilliantly palmed away Müller's attempt from an acute angle. Stuttgart might have taken the lead themselves when Martin Harnik's pass released Vedad Ibisevic moving past the half-hour mark, only for Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Müller to make the save.
Shortly after the restart the Swabians caught Mainz cold when Müller turned Harnik's back post header into his own net, but parity was restored in the 55th minute when his namesake Nicolai was on target from close range.
As the second period matured the home team upped the ante, with Adam Szalai missing several good opportunities before Müller struck another, finishing a neat move for his fourth goal of campaign. In injury time, Colombian Soto sealed a deserved victory by coolly slotting in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Line-ups and statistics