Parity: Fortuna Düsseldorf and Main both left with a point after a competitive display in Matchday 24's closing fixture
Parity: Fortuna Düsseldorf and Main both left with a point after a competitive display in Matchday 24's closing fixture

Klasnic on point for Mainz

Düsseldorf - Fortuna Düsseldorf were held to a 1-1 draw at home to a gritty and determined FSV Mainz 05 side in the Esprit Arena.

Heading in the wrong direction

The home side had the best chances after taking a sixth-minute lead through a Bo Svensson own goal, but Ivan Klasnic marked his first start for Mainz with his first goal in Germany’s top flight in almost five years to earn the guests a share of the spoils.

Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel tried to rejuvenate his side after midweek making four changes and dropping top goalscorer Adam Szalai to the bench. They made a terrible start to the game, however, falling behind in bizarre circumstances just moments into the match. A seemingly harmless cross was swung into the box and the back-pedalling Svensson got his angles wrong to head the ball past his own keeper.

The home side continued to probe, with Mainz keeper Christian Wetklo kept busy on his return to the first team. He was saved by his post when Axel Bellinghausen’s shot rebounded to safety as Norbert Meier’s men upped the pressure, before Radoslav Zabavnik was withdrawn due to injury. His misfortune turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though, as replacement Marco Caligiuri set up the equaliser for Klasnic straight after coming on.

Half-century for Klasnic

Klasnic was in the Mainz starting XI for the very first time after making just two substitute appearances in the first half of the season. And it proved to be a calculated gamble by Tuchel, as he netted for the first time in the Bundesliga since May 2008 to bring Mainz back on terms. His 50th Bundesliga goal was something of a gift from Fortuna goalkeeper Fabian Giefer, but one he was all too willing to accept just before the interval.

Giefer made up for the error to keep Fortuna on terms by turning Caligiuri’s arrowed shot wide of the post as Mainz threatened on the break, but it was the hosts that continued to do most of the attacking. Frustratingly for Fortuna, however, they failed to really test Wetklo, and Nando Rafael's wildly skewed volley was the closest they came in the second period.

Draw specialists

Meier, who was sitting on the bench for the 50th time in a Bundesliga game, played his final card in the form of Oliver Fink, who replaced Andreas Lambertz with the seconds ticking down.

He was unable to succeed where his team mates had failed, though, as Fortuna had to settle for just a point, their first stalemate since November. Mainz, meanwhile, drew for the fourth game in a row for the first time in Bundesliga history.

Line-ups and statistics

Ben Gladwell