Ricardo Rodriguez (r.) opened the scoring for VfL Wolfsburg against Shinji Okazaki's 1. FSV Mainz 05
Ricardo Rodriguez (r.) opened the scoring for VfL Wolfsburg against Shinji Okazaki's 1. FSV Mainz 05

Wins for Wolfsburg and Frankfurt; All square in Freiburg

Munich - There were comfortable victories for VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 20, while SC Freiburg and 1899 Hoffenheim were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in the Baden-Württemberg derby.

VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 1. FSV Mainz 05

bundesliga.com rounds up Saturday afternoon's action...

Wolfsburg recorded their first league victory of 2014 as three second-half goals gave the Wolves a comfortable 3-0 win over in-form Mainz.

Chances were at a premium in the opening stages, with Ivan Perisic’s long-range effort from Kevin de Bruyne’s cut-back the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock in the first 20 minutes. The visitors seemed intent to sit back and soak up the Wolves’ pressure, and could even have gone into half-time a goal to the good, but Diego Benaglio pulled off a smart save to deny Zdenek Pospech.

Rodriguez spot-on

The Wolves were gifted an opportunity to take the lead just before the hour-mark when Bas Dost was brought down just inside the penalty area by Mainz centre-back Niko Bungert. Ricardo Rodriguez made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick, sending Loris Karius the wrong way for the full-back’s third goal of the season.

Wolfsburg doubled their lead just seven minutes later when Dost picked up Olic’s pass around twenty yards from goal, turned and fired an unstoppable low shot into the bottom right-hand corner. With a quarter of an hour remaining, Luiz Gustavo reacted quickest to nod home a loose ball inside the Mainz area and seal all three points for Wolfsburg, who move level on points with Borussia Mönchengladbach in fifth.

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SC Freiburg 1-1 1899 Hoffenheim

SC Freiburg extended their unbeaten run at home to three games after drawing 1-1 with Baden-Württemberg rivals 1899 Hoffenheim.

With both clubs too close to the relegation zone for comfort, plus south-western bragging rights on the line, the match began intensely, with thumping tackles and fast-paced pressing the order of the day. That condensed the play into the middle of the park for the majority of the first half and neither side came close to breaking the deadlock prior to the break, although the visitors looked more likely to break the deadlock. Indeed, Felix Klaus' 36th minute shot was the only effort the hosts had on goal in the first 45 minutes, compared to Hoffenheim's nine shots.

Schmid on target

More goals had been scored in matches involving Hoffenheim this season (81 in total) than any other team, so it was perhaps inevitable that the tie was not destined to end goalless. Freiburg had struggled for creativity all game, but Admir Mehmedi still managed to wriggle his way free down the left wing before bearing down on goal and squaring the ball for Jonathan Schmid to prod in from close range.

Sejad Salihovic fizzed a free kick narrowly over the bar in the closing stages as the guests pushed for an equaliser, and their pressure eventually paid off as Anthony Modeste curled a delightful effort around Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann to secure his side a point. It was a welcome goal for the Frenchman, who had gone 593 minutes (almost ten hours) without netting in the league. The draw was of little use to either side, however, as they look to move away from the drop zone.

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Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Eintracht Braunschweig

Eintracht Frankfurt registered their second successive home victory with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Braunschweig, who remain at the foot of the table.

Johannes Flum gave the Eagles the lead inside the opening seven minutes when he latched onto Alexander Meier’s clever lay-off to poke the ball past Daniel Davari and into the visitors’ net. Meier doubled Frankfurt’s advantage with a neat finish two minutes before the break, before Stefan Aigner netted just 60 seconds later to give the hosts a 3-0 half-time lead.

Result never in doubt

The visitors improved after the break, but Frankfurt still looked more likely to add to their comfortable advantage than concede a consolation. Vaclav Kadlec perhaps should have made it four when he connected well with Aigner’s cross from the right-hand side, but Daniel Davari was equal to the Czech striker’s header.

Benjamin Kessel almost pulled a goal back for the visitors when his header crashed off the bar with twenty minutes remaining, but the result was never really in doubt following a first-half masterclass from the hosts, who climb into twelfth in the Bundesliga ahead of Sunday’s encounters.

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