Both teams started the game with attacking intent, but it was Wolfsburg who threatened first, with Josip Brekalo stinging Florian Müller’s gloves with a shot from the edge of the box. Daniel Ginczek then flashed a shot wide before Müller raced off his line to deny the effervescent Brekalo when the Croat had raced through for a one-on-one. Mainz striker Anthony Ujah hit the post towards the end of the half, Jean-Philipp Gbamin had an effort ruled out at the other end, and each side went in for half-time feeling that they could, and perhaps should, have scored.
Whatever Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz said to his charges at the interval seemed to spur them into action. Alexandru Maxim spun a free-kick narrowly wide before Ujah’s textbook downward header was well saved by Koen Casteels. Wolfsburg began to bare their teeth in the final third of the game, and Ginczek was desperately unlucky to see another shot bounce back off the post.
- Maximilian Arnold played his 200th game in all competitions for Wolfsburg.
- Mainz are unbeaten in each of their last eight meetings with Wolfsburg. The last time the Wolves took all three points from the 05ers was October 2014, the season they finished as runners-up to Bayern Munich.
- Yunus Malli swapped Mainz for Wolfsburg in 2017. He remains the 05ers' all-time record Bundesliga scorer with 29 goals – a title he shares with Mohamed Zidan.
Mainz: Müller – Brosinski (Mwene 30’), Bell (c), Niakhate, Martin - Gbamin, Baku, Maxim (Mateta 75’) – Onisiwo (Boetius 64’), Ujah, Quaison
Unused subs: Zentner, Kunde, Bussmann, Issah
Absentees: Adler, Berggreen (both knee), Holtmann (Achilles), Latza (fitness), Hack (foot)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) – William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon – Arnold, Camacho, Rexhbecaj (Steffen 88’) – Brekalo, Ginczek (Weghorst 82’), Mehmedi (Malli 70’)
Unused subs: Pervan, Verhaegh, Gerhardt, Uduokhai
Absentees: Azzaoui (knee), Klaus (pubic bone), Guilavogui (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia