Neither Mainz nor Wolfsburg were able to create any breathing space for themselves in their battle against the drop after sharing the points in a 1-1 draw in the Matchday 24 opener on Friday night.
Mainz 1-1 Wolfsburg
Goals: 0-1 Brekalo (6'), 1-1 Muto (44')
Wolfsburg got off to the brighter start and took the lead almost straight away when Josip Brekalo poked home at the second attempt after good work from William down the left. Josuha Guilavogui almost doubled their advantage with a header that grazed the crossbar, before Robin Quaison went close at the other end with a shot following a mazy run. The hosts worked their way back into the game as the half wore on and pulled the scores level just before the interval when substitute Yoshinori Muto's flick squirmed over the line.
The second half was a more cagey affair initially but it burst into life around the hour mark when Yunus Malli was sent clean through on goal. However, the Turkey international appeared to have too much time to think of his options and curled the ball wide when one-on-one with goalkeeper Robin Zentner. Daniel Diadvi almost won it at the death for the visitors when his well-taken shot on the run hit the base of the post, while at the other end substitute Anthony Ujah was denied by Koen Casteels from close range, meaning the sides ultimately had to settle for a point.
- Brekalo scored his first Bundesliga goal for Wolfsburg in his ninth outing for the club.Muto equalised with just his second touch of the ball.This was Wolfsburg's 13th draw of the season.Labbadia has faced Mainz 14 times as a coach, winning six, drawing four and losing five.Wolfsburg have only won one of their last 10 Bundesliga matches.Wolfsburg have dropped points in a league-high nine of the 13 games in which they have taken the lead.
Mainz: Zentner – Balogun, Bell (c), Diallo – Donati, Gbamin, Latza, Serdar (De Blasis 78'), Holtmann – Quaison (Ujah 87'), Berggreen (Muto 40')
Unused subs: Müller, De Jong, Brosinski, Hack
Absentees: Adler (illness)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Wolfsburg: Casteels - Verhaegh (c), Knoche, Bruma, William - Guilavogui, Bazoer - Brekalo (Mehmedi 83'), Malli (Steffen 77'), Didavi - Origi
Unused subs: Grün, Dimata, Osimhen, Itter, Rexhbecaj
Absentees: Arnold (suspended), Jung (thigh), Brooks (knee), Blaszczykowski (back), Camacho (ankle), Tisserand (hamstring), Gerhardt (ankle)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia