Pros 23.02.2019 — 18:57 Uhr

3-0! Mainz return to winning ways in style

Onisiwo scores two, Mateta bags off the bench

Mainz returned to winning ways in style this afternoon, beating Schalke 04 3-0 (1-0) in the OPEL Arena. Karim Onisiwo scored a brace, one in the first half and one in the second, with Jean-Philippe Mateta scoring after coming off the bench.

Two days after his contract extension, Sandro Schwarz had to make four changes to the team that faced Wolfsburg due to illness in the squad. Giulio Donati started for the first time this season, with Daniel Brosinski out. Levin Öztunali, Karim Onisiwo and Anthony Ujah also came into the starting XI. Kunde Malong and Robin Quaison missed the game due to injury, as did Alexander Hack due to illness. Mateta started the game on the bench for the second time this season.

Mainz had the first good opportunity of the game. Following a cross from Aarón, Stefan Bell had a shot that went just wide of the post. The visitors then had a chance, with Nabil Bentaleb’s effort also just going wide. Danny Latza then had an opportunity for the hosts, but both of his shots were blocked by Salif Sané. Just 60 seconds later, Mainz took the lead. The ball bounced up perfectly for Karim Onisiwo in the Schalke penalty area and he calmly fired the ball home  and his side into the lead. Seven minutes later, Schalke goalkeeper Nübel had to make a good stop to deny Ujah. The away side then had a couple of chances before the break. First, Steven Skrzybski was inches away from getting on the end of a cross, before Matija Nastasic forced Flo Müller into a great reflex save. The score stayed 1-0 for half time.

Mateta and Onisiwo seal the deal

Donati picked off a Bentaleb pass and got Mainz moving forward early in the second half, picking out Anthony Ujah up front. However, Ujah’s effort didn’t have enough on it to trouble the goalkeeper. Both sides had fewer chances than in the first half, but Mainz still managed to threaten. Onisiwo spread the ball out wide to Aarón, who put in a great ball for Mateta to head in shortly after coming off the bench. The goal was the striker’s seventh Bundesliga goal of the season.

Mainz continued to play well and get forward in the closing stages, and were rewarded with a third goal. Onisiwo, Mateta, Latza and Bell all missed chances before the final nail in Schalke’s coffin was hammered in. Onisiwo won the race against Sané after a pass from Latza and finished convincingly against Nübel. Flo Müller made a good save to deny Mark Uth three minutes from time, before Niko Bungert made his comeback off the bench. The referee then blew the final whistle, with Mainz winning the game 3-0. The Zerofivers now have 30 points on the board and travel to Berlin to face Hertha next Saturday (15:30 CET).