A decisive second half performance from Mainz saw them defeat inconsistent Hamburg after the home side had taken a controversial lead via a goal that didn’t actually cross the line.
Mainz came into this game knowing a win would lift them above Bayern Munich and into fourth spot. Hamburg knew a win by two clear goals would lift them above Mainz into fifth. As if to spice things up even further, it was the home side who ended Mainz’s spectacular start to the season, winning at the Bruchweg stadium with a late Jose Paolo Guerrero goal back in October. For the visitors, there was no Miroslav Karhan, Ádám Szalai or Sami Allagui – all three ruled out through injury. As difficult to second guess as ever, Thomas Tuchel left Lewis Holtby and Christian Fuchs on the bench. Hamburg, on the other hand, were at full strength (with Ruud van Nistelrooy on the bench), and looking to bounce back after drawing last weekend at struggling Kaiserslautern. Continue reading →
Matchday six in the Bundesliga, and the Saturday evening tie saw northern rivals Bremen and Hamburg square up.
Hamburg began the clash in seventh place on eight points, while Bremen found themselves in the division’s penultimate place on a mere three points.
Meanwhile, neither of these sides had impressed in the midweek round of fixtures, with Bremen humiliated at Hannover, and Hamburg brushed aside by Wolfsburg.
So perhaps the watching world shouldn’t have been too surprised by this match taking a while to get started. Both teams sought to give every man in the same colour shirt a touch of the ball, as each tried tempting the opposition out of position.
As patterns and pace finally emerged, the visitors looked more comfortable initially. Confident first-time passing moves were being strung together, often only thwarted at the final stage by Bremen’s snappy offside-trap.