A Pablo De Blasis penalty was the difference between Mainz and Hertha Berlin as the hosts picked up a 1-0 win at the Opel-Arena.
Mainz 1-0 Hertha
Goals: 1-0 De Blasis (54' pen.)
Alexandru Maxim did his best to craft openings for the hosts, but his final touch too often let him down. It was not for the lack of trying, though, with Mainz running a combined 2.3km more than their opponents in the first half, but neither side managed a single shot on target in a tactical opening 45 minutes.
Video Assist helped unlock the proceedings with a foul on Yoshinori Muto inside the area ultimately resulting in the awarding of a penalty, which Pablo Di Blasis tucked past Rune Jarstein. Hertha were suddenly sparked into life and Vedad Ibisevic snapped their first shot wide with only Rene Adler to beat, while Valentin Stocker also gave the German goalkeeper work to do as Mainz held on to all three points, with Hertha also losing Ibisevic to a late red card.
Man of the match
De Blasis kept his cool while those around him were unable to keep theirs. His penalty proved the difference, and he went closest to adding a second with a fine volley.
Mainz: Adler - Donati, Diallo, Bell (c), Brosinski - Latza, Gbamin, Frei (69' Serdar) – Maxim (59' Öztunali), De Blasis, Muto (87' Fischer)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Hertha: Jarstein - Weiser, Langkamp, Rekik, Plattenhardt - Lustenberger, Skjelbred (60' Darida) – Leckie (72' Esswein), Duda (72' Stocker), Kalou - Ibisevic (c)
Coach: Pal Dardai
- Pablo De Blasis became the only player in the current Mainz squad to score a Bundesliga goal against Hertha.De Blasis' goal was Mainz's 500th in the Bundesliga.Mainz have converted their last 18 straight penaltiesHertha lost their first game in six.Pal Dardai made his Bundesliga debut on the Hertha bench at Mainz in February 2015, winning 2-0.
Watch: de Blasis delighted to make history!