Goalkeeper Florian Müller grabbed the headlines for ten-man Mainz with the 20-year-old Bundesliga debutant denying Hamburg an important tilt at three points thanks to a string of fine saves and a second-half penalty stop.
Their top-flight status appearing ever-more precarious, the relegation-threatened hosts began with purpose. Sven Schipplock and Walace caused early menace but both found Mainz’s Bundesliga debutant goalkeeper Müller in supreme form. In a similarly risky position to that of their opponents prior to kick-off, the 05ers rallied and saw Swede Robin Quaison draw a top save from HSV No.1 Christian Mathenia. The battle of the keepers continued unabated when Müller tipped Filip Kostic’s strike against the woodwork before Hamburg’s Serbian winger had an effort ruled out by VAR.
Bernd Hollerbach’s men maintained their push for an opener soon after the restart but were denied by the woodwork once more, Rick van Drongelen this time the man frustrated. Winless against Mainz in their previous five home games, Hamburg were then presented with a golden opportunity to reverse that run when Leon Balogun’s foul and subsequent dismissal led to the home side being awarded a penalty. True to form, however, the 20-year-old Müller saved Kostic’s spot-kick to earn hero status among the travelling contingent.
💬 Florian #Müller: "The team made my job easier so I was able to contain my nerves. For the penalty, I decided which way to dive early and I had prepared for that situation." #HSVM05 pic.twitter.com/XTcFNPzhxZ— Mainz 05 English (@Mainz05en) 3 mars 2018
- Müller stopped all six HSV shots on target.
- The hosts' second-half penalty award was their second against Mainz this season.
- Hamburg have not won any of the last six Bundesliga home games against Mainz (D3 L3).
- The 05ers have now won more games away in Hamburg five) than anywhere else in the Bundesliga.
- Mainz's first-ever win in the Bundesliga came against Hamburg – a 2-1 triumph on Matchday 2 of the 2004/05 season.
Hamburg: Mathenia – Sakai (c), Papadopoulos, van Drongelen, Santos – Jung (Arp 74'), Walace, Hunt (Waldschmidt 46') – Jatta (Hahn 59'), Schipplock, Kostic
Unused subs: Pollersbeck, Mavraj, Diekmeier, Salihovic
Absentees: Müller (knee ligaments), Pollersbeck (illness), Ekdal (ankle)
Coach: Bernd Hollerbach
Mainz: Müller – Diallo, Balogun, Bell (c) – Donati, Serdar, Gbamin, Latza, Holtmann (Brosinski 46') – Quaison (Onisiwo 77'), Muto (Ujah 88')
Unused subs: Dahmen, Hack, de Jong, De Blasis
Absentees: Zentner (gash), Berggreen (illness)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz