Jhon Cordoba struck four minutes from time to give 1. FSV Mainz 05 a dramatic but deserved win at FC Bayern München on Wednesday to light up the title race.
Franck Ribery had come off the bench against VfL Wolfsburg to great effect, and in his first start in more than a year, the Frenchman was again a creative force. His best work came in getting to the by-line to then send a pass looping Arturo Vidal’s way – the Chile international’s well-struck volley was superbly saved by Loris Karius.
Mainz spent most of the first half defending stoically, but they picked and exploited their moment with utter ruthlessness. Giulio Donati surged forward, and though his low cross was intended for Yunus Malli, it fell ideally for Jairo to sweep home crisply.
Bayern’s squad is well-used to Pep Guardiola’s squad rotation, but the five changes their coach made to the starting XI perhaps explained their disjointedness. Malli and Christian Clemens were on the same wavelength when the former backheeled into the latter’s path after the break – the beauty of the move was spoiled by the ugly, wild and wayward finish.
To compound Clemens’ disappointment, Arjen Robben drilled home superbly to level shortly afterwards. Many would have expected Bayern to power through to win, but with Mainz remarkably well-drilled at the back, they toiled. At the opposite end, Cordoba was clinical, firing home superbly from Julian Baumgartlinger’s pass to stun the Allianz Arena and leave Bayern five points clear of Borussia Dortmund ahead of Saturday’s Klassiker at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.
Man of the Match
Industrious, inspirational and even inventive with the assist for the winning goal, Baumgartlinger was superb.
Der Klassiker now has added oomph with Borussia Dortmund closing to within five points at the top.
- Cordoba’s strike is the first goal Bayern have conceded to a substitute this season.
- Jairo has scored all six of his goals this season away from home.
- All four of Robben’s strikes have come at the Allianz Arena.
- Bayern have conceded five goals at home this season, three of which have been in the 26th minute.
- Bayern’s starting line-up comprised ten non-Germans from eight different nations.
- Ribery made his first start since 27 February 2015 against 1. FC Köln.
Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, Benatia, Alaba, Juan Bernat - Vidal – Coman (Müller 51’), Robben, Thiago (Costa 60’), Ribery - Lewandowski
Mainz: Karius - Balogun, Bungert (Latza 46’), Hack – Donati (Brosinski 73’), Bussmann - Baumgartlinger, Frei - Clemens, Jairo – Malli (Cordoba 60’)