The last match of the Bundesliga weekend saw two sides looking at opposite ends of table, hosts Mainz were looking up the table and into dreamland as they sit in 6th place and aiming to finish in the European places. The travelling side today was Köln, the Billy Goats have been inconsistent this season and sit in 12th place just three points away from the relegation play-off spot.
Mainz have had a impressive 2016 so far and in fact the only teams to pick up more points than them is the top two Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Going into the game they’ve only picked up one loss in their last seven games. Köln go into the game following a 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen and have only won the once in their last eight outings.
The game started quite slow as both team’s were still finding their feet in the match, despite the lack of early chances there was indeed an early goal. In the ninth minute Mainz earned a corner, the delivery into the box was good and Stefan Bell was able to head the ball down and Jhon Andrés Córdoba was quickest to react and poke the ball past Timo Horn.
It was Bell causing the problems in the air once more, this time Córdoba turned provider as his cross allowed Bell to raise the highest, despite winning the header he didn’t test Horn who was able to comfortably save.
Mainz were on top in the early stages, however Köln managed to catch them out on the twenty minute mark. The home side were caught up field as they lost possession and Anthony Modeste was through down the right, the French forward tried his luck from the edge of the area and although it seemed a comfortable save Loris Karius parried the ball, luckily away from goal and towards Giulio Donati who cleared the danger.
The lead was almost doubled for Mainz as Danny Latza produced an excellent effort from distance and Horn had to be at his best to flick the ball away from going into the bottom corner.
The last action of the half came from the hosts as Julian Baumgartlinger played a delightful ball over the top to pick out Yunus Malli with us freekick and the Turk fired his volley well over.
Mainz started the second half in fantastic fashion as they doubled their lead just four minutes into the half. Daniel Brosinski whipped in a wonderful cross from a freekick and Leon Balogun excellently leapt to powerfully head home past Horn.
There wasn’t much action after Mainz doubled their lead and after a couple of tame efforts there was a danger of the game fizzling out. Fortunately for the neutral Köln grabbed themselves a goal just after the hour mark. A corner was poked back by Dominik Maroh and Marcel Risse arrived to strike a tremendous effort from twenty-five yards out and it rocketed past Karius for his first goal of the season.
The Köln substitutes made an impact after entering the action and it was one of them that grabbed an important equaliser. A cross from the right was headed away by Bell, however it was only to the open Yannick Gerhardt, the youngster played the ball back into a dangerous area and Miloš Jojić was left unmarked to fire past Karius from ten yards out.
Mainz were left stunned by the equaliser and struggled to get themselves going again and if the equaliser wasn’t bad enough they were soon left shell-shocked after Köln grabbed a wonderful winner. Eight minutes from time Matthias Lehmann punted a long ball forward and Modeste made sure he was on the end of it and at the first time of asking the Frenchman volleyed low past the helpless Karius.
The home side were disappointed and struggled for ideas after losing their lead and they couldn’t find that final push for a late equaliser. The positive for Mainz is that they stay in 6th place, however today’s result shows it’s too early to be talking about a potential Champions League spot. Köln showed their spirit and it was a much needed victory that sees them move up to 10th place.
Köln will look to build on today’s victory next weekend as they host SV Darmstadt 98 before travelling to Augsburg, both opponents are in a similar position to Köln so any victory will be vital. As for Mainz they will need to brush themselves off as they travel to nearby Frankfurt, who will be looking to find a much needed victory as they struggle down near the bottom.