Three penalties in fourteen minutes see Mainz romp to a 4-0 victory
Mainz’s stellar performance included a Burkardt brace and three different scorers from the penalty spot.
1. FSV Mainz gave their fans an afternoon to remember as they thrashed Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 at the MEWA ARENA. The Zerofivers got off to a lightning start, when Johnny Burkardt ended his drought with a goal after less than a minute, and Svensson’s side kept their foot on the pedal throughout the match. The second half will be remembered as the half in which three different players scored a penalty for Mainz. Moussa Niakhaté, Jonny Burkardt and substitute Marcus Ingvartsen all kept their cool from twelve yards to give FSV their biggest home win of the calendar year. Chances for Arminia throughout the game were few and far between and goalkeeper Robin Zentner, who signed a contract extension earlier in the day, had a very quiet afternoon.
Bo Svensson made five changes from the side that faced Borussia Dortmund in midweek. Alexander Hack, Aarón, Dominik Kohr, Jean-Paul Boëtius and Jae-sung Lee all came into the team, replacing Andy Lucoqui, Kevin Stöger, Marcus Ingvartsen, Niklas Tauer (head injury) and Anton Stach (suspended). FSV fans heard the good news before the game, that goalkeeper Robin Zentner has extended his contract until 2025.
Burkardt's early goal
There was clearly no hangover from the bitter defeat against Dortmund, as the Zerofivers got off to a blistering start. Mainz took the lead after just thirty seconds, when Widmer played a sharp pass into the penalty area from the right hand side, finding Burkardt who tapped in from close range. Mainz were completely dominant for the first fifteen minutes and barely allowed their opponents to get out of their own half. The 25,000 fans inside the MEWA arena thought that their team had doubled their lead, when Niakhaté’s bullet header in the 15th minute was deemed to have crossed the line by the referee’s watch. However, in bizarre circumstances, replays showed that the ball had in fact been kept out by Arminia’s goalkeeper and the goal was chalked off. Just five minutes later, a Dominik Kohr header from twelve yards rattled the crossbar and the score remained 1-0. Despite Mainz’s great start to the game, the second goal eluded them.
As the half progressed, the game became much less frantic and chances became harder to come by. The visitors’ only real opportunities came later in the half, but Masaya Okugawa’s effort in the 39th minute and Patrick Wimmer’s in the 41st, were off-target. The Zerofivers went in at half time with a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
Mainz pull away in the second half
Despite the visitors’ two changes at the break, the Zerofivers came out the fresher side. Burkardt was presented with a golden opportunity in the 49th minute, when he was picked out by Widmer in the six yard box. The Under 21 international looked certain to score, but he smashed his effort against the crossbar and once again, Mainz failed to double their lead. After this chance, a hard-fought game with fewer opportunities ensued, but FSV still looked the likelier team. Just before the hour mark, Onisiwo failed to take advantage of a defensive error, which came from a long throw-in from Widmer. The ball bounced in front of the Austrian but he blazed over from seven yards. Two minutes later, Robin Hack had an opportunity at the opposite end but he also failed to hit the target.
After that however, Mainz turned up the heat and were eventually rewarded. In the 65th minute, Leandro Barreiro, who had come on as a substitute for Lee just ten minutes earlier, was brought down by Maunel Prietl in the penalty area. The referee had no hesitation in awarding Mainz a penalty kick. Captain Niakhaté stepped up and kept his cool to finally give Mainz their second goal of the game. This was the catalyst for Mainz as they went for the jugular. Just four minutes later, Barreiro failed to hit the target from eight yards, a chance which came about after a great piece of solo play from Onisiwo.
It would however be two more penalties that would take the game beyond Bielefeld’s reach. In the 74th minute, Barreiro was once again tripped up in the penalty area and Mainz were awarded another spot-kick. It was Burkardt who stepped up on this occasion and he too remained cool, sending the keeper the wrong way to bag his second of the afternoon. This was the homegrown Mainzer’s last action of the game, as he was replaced by Ingvartsen after his goal celebration. It didn’t take the Dane long to get in on the action. In the 79th minute, Prietl once again made a clumsy foul in the area and the referee pointed to the spot for the third time. Ingvartsen took the spot kick and gave Mainz their fourth goal of the afternoon. This was incredibly Mainz’s 36th successful successive spot-kick in the Bundesliga. Mainz had a final opportunity through substitute Andy Lucoqui, but his header failed to test Ortega.
This convincing victory puts Svensson’s side on 37 points after 26 games and should be enough to keep them out of any relegation battles for the remainder of the season. After the international break, Mainz have a trip to Mönchengladbach on 3rd April (17:30 CEST). The next home game is on 16th April against Stuttgart (15:30 CEST).