05ers fall to a 3-0 defeat in Wolfsburg
The Wolves seal the victory from the penalty spot after questionable VAR decision
After opening 2019 with two consecutive victories, 1. FSV Mainz 05 have fallen to their third consecutive defeat in the Bundesliga. The 05ers fell to a 3-0 defeat away against VfL Wolfsburg in match where the hosts benefited from taking a fourth minute lead through Maximilian Arnold. Wout Weghorst doubled the lead from the penalty box (70’) before Robin Knoche sealed all three points with a third goal just six minutes later.
Following the home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, 05ers head coach Sandro Schwarz made two changes to the starting lineup in Wolfsburg. Danny Latza and Jean-Philippe Gbamin came into the starting lineup to replace Leandro Barreiro and the injured Alexander Hack.
The match had barely started before Florian Müller was picking the ball out of his own net. Josip Brekalo played in Arnold on the left-wing and the winger fired the ball into the far corner from 18 metres out (4’). Mainz fell behind early for the third consecutive match but started to threaten Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal as they went in search of an immediate response. Kunde Malong fired a shot straight at Casteels from 25 metres out before Jean-Philippe Mateta was beaten to the rebound by Knoche (5’). Danny Latza also had a shot from long range but this caused no problems for Casteels (8’). Mainz enjoyed more possession but were unable to carve out any clear chances. The 05ers were struggling to breakdown the Wolfsburg midfield while lacking the final pass to threaten Casteels. A Moussa Niakhaté header from a corner was the closest the visitors came in the opening 25 minutes, Casteels comfortably collecting the ball (21’).
At the other end, the young Frenchman was called into action to deny William a certain second Wolfsburg goal from the Mainz goal line (26’). The best Mainz chance of the first half came on the half hour mark as Gbamin played in Jean-Paul Boëtius with a diagonal ball and his blocked cross fell straight into the path of Latza. However, the midfielder could only fire his shot wide of the far post (29’). Four minutes later, Wolfsburg again went close as they tried to double their lead. Arnold headed the ball to a wide open William but he could only hit the side netting with his shot (33’). The Wolves were able to carry their narrow lead into half-time.
Quaison misses chance to equalize – Wolfsburg extend their lead
Neither side many any changes at half-time and Wolfsburg created the first chance of the second half as Arnold forced Müller into a smart save from a free-kick from distance (54’). Mateta then played in Boëtius down the right wing on the hour mark, and his perfectly timed cross was met by Robin Quaison. However the Swede was unable to convert the opportunity. Müller was called into action again at the other end to deny Wout Weghorst (67’) before a questionable decision turned the course of the match in the 70th minute. The ball appeared to strike Gbamin on the arm after a battle with Renato Steffen. After consultations with the Video Assistant Referee, a penalty was awarded. Weghorst stepped up and struck the ball into the bottom left corner to double Wolfsburg’s lead.
Niakhaté created a chance to hit back immediately but his first time effort landed on the top of the goal (73’). Just three minutes and the hosts wrapped up all three points. Müller made a fine save to deny Arnold but could do anything about a strong run from Yannick Gerhardt into the box and a shot from Knoche as Wolfsburg took a 3-0 lead. In the closing stages, Mainz created a few chances to grab a consolation as Mateta was denied by Casteels (80’) before substitute Gerrit Holtmann had a shot blocked by Arnold. The match ended in a 3-0 defeat for the 05ers, who will face FC Schalke 04 next Saturday in the OPEL ARENA (15:30 CET).