Bundesliga Match of the Week 5: 1. FSV Mainz 05 2-3 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim


1. FSV Mainz 05 (Latza, Muto) 2-3 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Amiri, Wagner, Uth)


Hoffenheim completed a late comeback against Mainz after a 92nd minute strike from Mark Uth won the game for the away side.

Going into Matchday 5, Mainz and Hoffenheim were at different ends of the table, Mainz in 15th and Hoffenheim in 5th. The scene was set at the Opel Arena, Sandro Schwarz vs Julian Nagelsmann, Mainz vs Hoffenheim. The whistle blew and the initial stages of the game appeared as they normally would, both teams looking to understand and figure each other out. That didn’t last long. Mainz started to gain the upper hand. Already pressing for a goal and creating chances, the home side were chomping at the bit. It didn’t take long for Mainz to take the lead. In the 5th minute, the home side built up play after Gbamin collected the Hoffenheim goalie’s (Oliver Baumann) kick up the pitch. The accurate passing of Mainz proved too much to deal with for Hoffenheim as the build-up play from the home side resulted in a strike from distance by Latza to put Mainz in the lead. Full of confidence, Mainz continued and applied the pressure on Hoffenheim. The away side were searching for a response but couldn’t quite find one. Mainz were winning the passing and possession game in the opening stages. The home side were rewarded yet again. In the 16th minute, Muto ran solo through the Hoffenheim defence to put Mainz up 2-0. It was looking good for the home side. Still searching for a response, Hoffenheim made the most of their 1st shot of the game. Amiri got a goal back for the away side after a nice interplay between Havard Nordtveit and Mark Uth and a headed throughball playing in the youngster who fired home from 18 yards on a bounce. As the game went on, Hoffenheim looked to be getting back in the game. The confidence from their goal was clearly felt. Gaining possession was allowing for Hoffenheim to get back into the game. 7 minutes after their goal, Hoffenheim were evidently awake after Rupp’s shot inside the box was saved by the Mainz keeper Rene Adler. The away side were looking better as time went on. It was back and forth. Mainz and Hoffenheim were creating chances and producing shots in what was becoming an exciting game. As half time was approaching, Hoffenheim were awarded a corner. Rupp crossed it into the box to Wagner whose header flew into the top corner. This was turning out to be quite some game. Half time came and both would be on the search for advantage in the second half.

The second half proved to be a different spectacle when compared to the first half. A more even affair started to take place. Both teams looking get that 3rd goal and come away with bragging rights. Mainz sought to take the first opportunity of the second half. Daniel Brosinski had an impressive strike from distance saved by Baumann. The home side looked confident, having a number of shots on goal while being able to limit opportunities of Hoffenheim. It took some time for the away side to register their first shot of the second half. Credit has to be given to the home side, who were able to deal with the tactics implemented by Nagelsmann. As time went on both teams were having opportunities on goal but were unable to get the breakthrough they needed. This was proving to be a tense situation for both sides. The away things were going, it looked like the game was going to end as a draw as both teams were unable to get significant opportunities on goal. But it’s not over until it’s over. That proved to be the case for Hoffenheim who were able to get a last-minute goal in the 95th minute when Mark Uth put a looping effort from Kevin Vogt in the back of the net. Celebration for Hoffenheim and disappointment for Mainz. This game proved to be an exciting spectacle full of opportunities, but Hoffenheim came out on top. An impressive comeback for Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim.



  • 43.7% Possession
  • 2 Goals
  • 20 Shots (6 On Target)
  • 45.6% Duels Won
  • 385 Passes (313 Short Passes, 55 Long Balls, 17 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 4)
  • 77.4% Pass Accuracy
  • 580 Touches
  • 10 Chances Created
  • 17 Crosses
  • 16 Take Ons
  • 16 Interceptions
  • 12 Clearances
  • 15 Blocks


  • 56.3% Possession
  • 3 Goals
  • 18 Shots (6 On Target)
  • 54.4% Duels Won
  • 498 Passes (405 Short Passes, 78 Long Balls, 15 Crosses, Average Pass Streak 4)
  • 80% Pass Accuracy
  • 679 Touches
  • 14 Chances Created
  • 15 Crosses
  • 17 Take Ons
  • 10 Interceptions
  • 22 Clearances
  • 15 Blocks

Quick Facts

→ Hoffenheim haven’t lost a game in the Bundesliga when Sandro Wagner scores.

→ It had been 8 years since Hoffenheim last won a Bundesliga game after being down by 2 goals.

→ Mainz and Hoffenheim scored with their first shot of the game.

→ It was Mainz’s first time that they have taken the lead in the Bundesliga this season.

(Statistics provided by Bundesliga.com, DW, Squawka, Onefootball, WhoScored, Opta, etc.)


Nagelsmann and Hoffenheim mounted an impressive comeback after beating Mainz 3-2 at the Opel Arena. Coming away from a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich, Mainz were looking to move on from that disappointment. For the away side they came from a 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin. Both teams were looking comeback with a win.

The whistle blew and Mainz looked to make the most of home advantage. They did just that. From the get go Mainz were on the front foot and it didn’t take long to bounce back with a bang at the Opel Arena. Danny Latza got his 5th Bundesliga goal in the 5th minute after a well worked build up play from the home side. After working it down the left, Viktor Fischer cross the ball into the box to find the head of a Hoffenheim player who clears the ball out the box. Unfortunately for Hoffenheim that ball found Danny Latza. With the Hoffenheim coming towards him, Latza strikes the ball from distance to find the back of the net:

The image above shows the impressive strike from Latza. With Hoffenheim moving further up in the box after the clearance, Latza decides to strike the ball from distance. What becomes clear after watching the goal is that the Hoffenheim keeper appeared to have a delayed reaction which suggests that as the Hoffenheim players moved further up in the box, the keeper wasn’t able to see the strike from Latza. There was no stopping it:

So far so good for the home side. The opening 10 minutes saw Mainz have 54% possession, 3 shots, 98% pass accuracy, 2 chances created, 3 crosses (1 key pass cross) and 2 take-ons. Attacking down the left in early stages proved to be beneficial for the home side. Hoffenheim were struggling to establish a solid base and Mainz were able to take advantage of that. The passing map provided by Squawka of the opening 10 minutes shows how Hoffenheim were ineffective when going forward, and Mainz were looking exploit space left by Hoffenheim. The battle of midfield was tipping in favour of Mainz:

The home side were on the front foot and putting pressure on the Hoffenheim defense. Lining up in 3-4-2-1, Mainz were able to provide the support needed in attack and work through and into spaces on the pitch. It provided the transition they were looking for. This was evident in the home sides 2nd goal:

After a poor pass from Eugen Polanski, Öztunali latched onto the ball and carried the ball forward. A side pass the Muto saw the goal score carry the ball forward towards the box. Pressured by Hoffenheim players, Muto was able to use his strength to keep hold of the ball and drive forward. Finding space as he continued, Muto was able to take the ball into the box and slot it pass the Hoffenheim keeper to make it 2-0. Everything looked good for the home side. Hoffenheim were yet to register a shot or create a chance in the opening 20 minutes. Looking at touches provided by WhoScored shows how limited Hoffenheim were going forward and how structured Mainz were defensively in the opening 20 minutes:

It took Hoffenheim 23 minutes to register their first shot and they made the most of it. First shot, first goal. Amiri put the away side on the scoresheet in what was proving to be a challenging game for Hoffenheim. Working the ball through the middle with some accurate passing, Hoffenheim were able to work their way through Mainz with just three passes. A beautiful strike Amiri made everything perfect. The way Hoffenheim were able to pass through and the around the Mainz players to find space was quite impressive:

As a result of the perfectly worked goal, Hoffenheim were confident. As time went on the away side were getting back into the game. Hungry for more, Hoffenheim pressed on. Since their goal in the 23rd minute till their next goal in the 46th, the away side had 71% possession, 86% pass accuracy, 5 shots and 3 chances created. The boost the goal gave them is clear. Mainz had a great opportunity to make it 3-2 after a quick counterattack led by Öztunali. Through on goal after a throw from Adler, Öztunali faced the keeper while being rushed down by two Hoffenheim players. Unfortunately for Mainz his shot went wide. Another chance came via Viktor Fischer whose shot was saved. A Hoffenheim corner in the 46th minute found the head of Sandro Wagner to make it 2-2 before halftime:

The Squawka halftime passing image shows how much Hoffenheim were sitting back defensively and how they were starting to favour the left side when going forward:

The second half provided a more even affair. Both sides searching for the third goal were looking to break down each other in the hope of getting that important win. Mainz looked to the team that may get that third goal. Opportunities fell to the home side, with many of their shots taking place outside the box. This became a prevalent technique for Mainz. 65% of their shots were from outside the box and 35% in the 18 yard box. By comparison, Hoffenheim had 44% of their shots outside the box, 50% in the 18 yard box and 6% in the 6 yard box. Mainz were able to withstand Hoffenheim attacks and also create opportunities of their own. The away side didn’t register a shot in the second half until the 62nd minute.

As time went on, Hoffenheim appeared to progressing further up the pitch. Shots were coming and chances were being created. 4 more shots came in the space of 8 minutes. Passing and possession was improving as well. Full time was on the horizon but both teams were still neck and neck. Opportunities came for both but they were unsuccessful. Latza had an impressive strike from distance saved and Samperio had his shot saved. Hoffenheim were holding out. Despite their increased shots in the second half were either off target or block, it wasn’t until the 90th minute when Adler saved shot from Kramaric. The away side were far from clinical going forward. By comparison, Mainz had 3 shots saved, 5 off target and 2 blocked in the second half.

The upbeat tempo and pressure from Hoffenheim proved to be the breakthrough they needed, carrying them to the end and ultimately winning them the game. In the 92nd minute, a Hoffenheim corner was cleared by Mainz to find Geiger who was able to pass it to Vogt. A chip pass from Vogt over the Mainz defenders found an alert Uth who was able to get past the defender who were caught off guard and put the ball in the back of the net:

Nagelsmann and Hoffenheim had completed an impressive comeback. This game was full of opportunities and chances. 20 shots and 10 chances created for Mainz, and 18 shots and 14 chances created for Hoffenheim. The attacking nature of both teams was evident. Mainz favoured more equality when going forward. 35% of their attacking came down the left side, 32% up the middle and 34% down the right. Hoffenheim favored the left side when attacking, with 42% of their attack down the left, 37% up the middle and 21% down the right. The favoring of the left side is clearly seen in the passing map provided by Squawka:

Mainz will be coming away from this game frustrated. After their impressive display in the opening stages of the first half, they appeared to let their guard down slightly. Shots and opportunities were available to the home side but they just weren’t able to add to their goal tally. This frustration was clearly expressed felt by the Mainz manager, Sandro Schwarz:

The home side put in an impressive performance and will be severely disappointed to not come away with any points. They were unlucky but unfortunately the game of football can be harsh and Mainz felt that.

After the game originally not going in their favour, Hoffenheim fought on and came out as the victors.



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From Yorkshire, Callum fell for the beautiful game at an early age. The Bundesliga first caught his attention in 2014. Since then, his admiration and interest for the Bundesliga has developed greatly. Falling in love with what the Bundesliga and Germany has to offer was easy. So Callum, decided to put his passion into words. You can find him on Twitter @CallumSeniuk

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