1. FSV Mainz 05 capitalised on an early red card shown to VfL Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler to seal a comfortable 2-0 victory on Saturday.
Goals: 1-0 De Blasis (31’), 2-0 Malli (75’)
Wolfsburg went into the game in search of a fourth straight win in the Bundesliga, but their plans were thrown into chaos inside the opening quarter of an hour when Draxler was shown a straight red for an unintentional but nevertheless recklessly high challenge on Mainz’s Gonzalo Jara.
Initially, Dieter Hecking’s side coped well with their numerical disadvantage and had enjoyed 70 per cent of possession after half an hour, but their resistance was broken when Pablo De Blasis tapped home after Diego Benaglio parried a cross. Crosses rained in on the Wolfsburg goal in the second half, as Mainz sought the goal that would effectively make the points safe, and it came with 15 minutes to play, as Yunus Malli expertly arrowed in his seventh of the season.
Man of the match
Malli had had a rather quiet first half, but after coming close on a couple of occasions after the break, another ice-cool finish put the result beyond any doubt and helped the 05ers end a run of three straight home defeats.
Much of the pre-match discussion will focus on the red card shown to Draxler, whose foot was extremely high, even if he only had eyes for the ball. Wolfsburg remain in the top four but could find themselves eight points off second if Borussia Dortmund come out on top in Sunday’s Revierderby against FC Schalke 04.
- De Blasis’ goal was his third in the Bundesliga and his first with his left foot.
- Draxler’s red card was his second dismissal in his 127th appearance.
- Malli has now set a personal season best by scoring seven goals in a campaign.
Mainz: Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Bungert (c), Balogun, Bengtsson - Latza (Serdar 78’), Jara - De Blasis (Cordoba, 89’), Jairo (Niederlechner 71’) - Malli - Muto
Wolfsburg: Benaglio (c) - Träsch, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez - Luiz Gustavo (Guilavogui 46’), Arnold - Vieirinha, Draxler, Caligiuri - Bendtner (Schürrle 65’)